Special Zone for Science, Technology and Innovation
The Medellín Science, Technology and Innovation (CTi) plan was an important part of the city’s economic development strategy. Developed in 2010 by various organizations representing the public, academic and private sectors, its construction has also been co-constructed by entities from other countries, ensuring that external visibility is very important for a plan of this kind. This plan was approved by the Council through Agreement No. 024 of 2012 in which it was authorized to use “at least 7% of the capital resources delivered to the Municipality of Medellin annually by the EPM from its regular surpluses” to co-finance the CTI Plan. In Medellin 2011-2021.
The cycle then began with a master plan that considers seeing opportunities, priority sectors, strategic goals and programs so that CTi is part of Medellín’s development drive. On various occasions, I have expressed my own concerns regarding this document, such as, for example, the lack of quantitative targets, funding, but above all due to the lack of monitoring of their implementation and compliance, which has resulted in a fixed CTi plan and has not been updated. If it is true that the programs and projects developed by Ruta N and other actors as well as the value proposition of the city’s innovation ecosystem have evolved and become more complex; However, the document was discontinued as such in time.
Since 2018, the development of the new CTi plan for Medellin has been on the agenda of Ruta N and the various actors in the ecosystem. After significant progress in this construction, unfortunately, this process has slowed since the third quarter of 2020 and today, 6 months after the end of the current CTi plan period, it is not clear what the point of the situation is. Moreover, two weeks ago the legislative act that turned Medellin into a special zone for science, technology and innovation was approved. The reaction of the ecosystem, which I joined, was no celebration; But out of skepticism and fears about the real risks and opportunities this might present for the city (sorry, the region).
This also reinforces the importance of collective action on significant fronts in the face of the new CTi plan: 1) defining, scaling and analyzing the results and impact achieved against the outcome initially expected in that key document 2011-2021; 2) the development of a new CTi plan for the city, taking advantage of collective knowledge, which takes into account the existing significant learning curve and other documents and plans created by the city (for example, the Medellín Innovation District); 3) A plan of action to implement, monitor and update during a new 10-year cycle in such a challenging and changing environment in which we live. The new CTi plan built under these buildings could be the central hub of transparent, concrete and powerful social dialogue in the face of the ambiguity of Medellín as a special area of CTi, and why not the backbone of its development