Science and technology in Colombia, progress and participation of the PhD in Engineering

Since ancient times, science and technology have sought the development of products, services, tools and means to satisfy human needs. Today the scholars of the past are trained in solid and structured educational programs, in modern and functional structures; I am now in the process of training in a PhD in Engineering.
Currently, each country has implemented its own policies for social, scientific and technological growth based on its own resources and guidelines. How was this scientific and technological progress presented in Colombia? This will be discussed below, except that this topic is in depth in the PhD in Engineering from the VIA.

Science and technology in Colombia

In an increasingly integrated and globalized world, the gaps between the technological and scientific capabilities of each country are one of the most evident realities of their development or underdevelopment, and Colombia still has a long way to go.

The global revolution of science and technology

In 2020, areas of particular importance considered in global science and technology trends include:

  • biotechnology.
  • Nanotechnology.
  • Materials technology.
  • Information Technology.

The authors of The Global Technology Revolution 2020, In-Depth Analysis, evaluated a sample of 29 countries for their scientific progress and their ability to implement key technology applications such as rural wireless communications, low-cost solar energy, smart factories and textiles or crops. genetically modified, among others.
The results are grouped into four categories:

  1. Scientifically advanced countries such as the United States, Germany and Japan.
  2. Scientifically competent countries such as India, China, Poland and Russia.
  3. Scientifically developing countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Türkiye or Indonesia.
  4. Scientifically lagging countries such as Pakistan, Kenya, the Dominican Republic or Nepal.

In this classification, Colombia is located in the group of countries in scientific development along with Chile, Türkiye, Indonesia and Mexico.
This position may be due to the volatility in the allocation of resources since the same resources that are destined for research and development are also used for research itself and for the training of researchers.
Like most Latin American countries, factors such as poverty, frailty in the public servicesscarce economic resources and political instability are obstacles to achieving the objectives of science AND technology in the fields mentioned above.
The same study determined the percentage of barriers AND driving forces. “Scientifically developed” countries like Canada and Australia are 30% barriers and 100% driving forces, while Colombia struggles against a 70% barriers with driving forces of only 10%.
Within this ranking, Colombia will have to develop a capacity and motivation in order to overcome implementation obstacles and problems Public policy.

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A bit of history

In 1990 the National System of Sciences e Technologyand within this system, the preponderant organism is Colcienciaswho acts as technical secretary and has been regulating the sector for 51 years.
In 2019 the Ministry of scientific technology and Innovation which was immediately supported by a project called "International Wise Men's Mission", made up of more than 40 national and foreign personalities.
The formation of a ministry of science (minsciences) is a great progress for many proposals and recommendations that have been embodied at different times to finally become a reality and materialize into actions.
Unlike Colciencias, now there is a minister who gives higher power and this elevates the status of the entity. The transition will take time, but the path is already set.

The international mission of the sages

Over time, there have been three such missions:

  • The first in 1988 of Science and technologywhich gave rise to the National Year of Science and the Technology, to Law 29 of 1990 which promotes scientific and technological research and formalized the National System of Science and technology.
  • The second, of Science, Education and Development in 1994, recommended strengthening this system. However, during this time it became weaker due to political decisions. Some of their proposals have been considered, however, the budget has not been able to reach the 1% of GDPtherefore its implementation has not been completed.
  • The International Mission of the Wise Men (2019) handed over to the country's presidency a document entitled "Colombia towards a knowledge society", which proposes an increase in the budget that reaches 1.20% of the total investment in investigation and growth as a percentage of GDP in 2028.
Advances with Minciencias

One of the fundamental points of the aforementioned document is yours emphasis on the proposal that policy-making should be the responsibility of the ministrywhile its execution must be the responsibility of another entity.
It also indicates the following actions to promote a "knowledge-based economy" from 2020:

  • All boys and girls living in Colombia must have access to quality education, complemented by health, nutrition, affection and care.
  • Pedagogical transformation that recognizes the differences between students and promotes the ability to learn.
    An education for the future that forms for a productive system and that understands the challenges of environmental and social sustainability.
  • Universities that promote the development of science and meet the needs of society.
  • Consolidation and integration of institutes and research centers that collaborate and have financial concessions.
  • Union of universities, entrepreneurs, public organizations and entrepreneurs in physical spaces such as creative laboratories, projects and entrepreneurship incubators.
  • Elimination of bureaucratic obstacles that arise in administrative processes.
  • Facilitate the import of laboratory reagents and equipment.
  • Review rules and guidelines that go against scientific research, such as those related to access to genetic resources and sample collection.
  • Promote natural resources and implement missions that develop the bioeconomy and create converging digital and technology industries.
  • Promote institutions that have the capacity to solve problems such as lack of drinking water, social exclusion or climate change.
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We are currently working on the following challenges:

  • Know and exploit the cultural and natural diversities of the country, promote the bioeconomy and the creative economy.
  • Transform the country's production base and promote high-tech and eco-sustainable industries and services.
  • Educated and healthy inhabitants.
doctoral training

A relevant indicator when measuring achievements related to science and technology in Colombia is doctoral training as a strategy to strengthen the country's research and challenges.
Since 1994 there has been a sustained increase in PhDs in Colombia; however, the increase is slow, since about 5,000 doctors a year are needed to compete with more developed countries.

Engineering at EIA

EIA University, since its beginnings as the Engineering School of Antioquia, has sought the technological, cultural, economic and social development of the country, based on respect for the natural environment and on the values ​​of ethics and justice.
The University has High Quality Institutional Accreditation, granted by the Ministry of Education since 2010 and renewed without interruption, valid until 2023.
Among the postgraduate courses that are taught is the Doctorate of Engineering, based on the tradition of specialties in different areas of engineering, its achievements and the recognitions obtained.
This doctorate aims to train high-level researchers with the necessary skills for the development and implementation of projects.
They participate in generating knowledge and solving economic problems in the region and the country. Furthermore, this professional can incorporate new methodologies for the creation of products and services that improve the competitiveness of industries and stimulate scientific, technological and innovation development.

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Graduate profile

The PhD student will be able to create, promote and lead initiatives and projects that provide solutions to national and international scientific and technological problems.
Engineering at EIA has two lines of research:

  • Modeling and simulationwhere it is intended to build and develop techniques in conceptual, quantitative and qualitative, as well as computational mathematical models for the solution of priority problems in the region.
  • Health technologies to provide technological and scientific solutions associated with this sector.

The training is oriented towards innovation and is in line with the proposals of the 2019 International Wise Men's Mission.
The country must continue to strengthen its doctoral program to contribute to scientific and technological development, and training at the EIA University means doing so with academic and human excellence. This topic delves into the PhD in Engineering from the VIA.

Bibliographic sources
Silberglitt, Richard et al. The global technological revolution 2020, in-depth analysis: bio/nano/materials/information trends, drivers, barriers and social implications. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2006.
Laura Mendivil Anaya. Science and technology, prospects for Colombia. Available at
Lisbeth Nebbia Corradine. A new era of science in Colombia? Xaverian researches. Pontifical Javeriana University. Colombia. 2019
VV AA. Colombia Towards a Knowledge Society - 2019 International Wise Men Mission Report for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, 2019. Available at:

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