Opening Up Natural Resource-Based Industries for Innovation: Exploring New Pathways for Development in Latin America

DescriptionNatural Resource industries, such as agriculture and mining, are generally considered to make little contribution to development objectives due in part to the diffusion within these industries of practices and technologies that generate economic, social and environmental problems (e.g. commodity dependency, social inequality, environmental degradation) and are unsustainable in the long-term.

This research project studies the emergence of projects (referred to as transformative alternatives or niches), which have the potential of changing problematic practices. It tries to identify and explore different transformative alternatives according to three types of transformative pathways (path-repairing, path-breaking, and path-creating), within selected industries in the region: the agricultural sector in Argentina, the exploitation of the Amazonian biodiversity in Brazil, and copper mining in Chile.

The main interest is to understand how developed different types of alternatives are, the barriers to their expansion, scaling up and replication, and their potential in transforming the dominant pathways of exploitation so that NR industries can best serve economic (resilience), social (justice) and environmental (sustainability) priorities in LAC.

A project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), in partnership with Centro de Investigaciones para la Transformación (Cenit), Centro de Gestão e Estudos Estratégicos (CGEE), and Centro Intelis de análisis de la Innovación y Emprendimiento from Universidad de Chile.

For more information visit the project’s website:


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