Profiles of main tech parks, accelerators, hackathons
Through a social program of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MinTIC) called Computers to Educate, Colombia achieved the historic goal of significantly reducing the divide in access to digital equipment and literacy in public schools. This achievement was acquired through the access, use and exploitation of ICTs in educational communities. The process began with equipping educational institutions with technological equipment such as computers and tablets, continued with providing training to teachers and parents on the use of ICTs, and ended with teaching them what should be done to take advantage of equipment that was in disuse. According to MinTIC, for an effective development of this strategy, more than 2.2m computers were delivered to benefit students from 43,000 public educational institutions throughout the country. In such a way that Colombia went from having 24 children using the same equipment in 2010 to only 4 students in 2018.
Regarding the population in a situation of disability, the survey carried out by the MinTIC reveals that 81 percent of people with visual and hearing disabilities consider that their condition is not an obstacle to using the Internet and 78 percent state that it is a tool that provides them possibilities of labour insertion. For this reason, in search of inclusive innovations, MinTIC carries out the ConverTIC project. The objective of this project is to make available to visually impaired people the free download service of software such as Jaws and Magic, as well as literacy cycles, which allow them to make full use of computers. Through this initiative, it is affirmed that technological inclusion opens the doors of social, educational, labor and cultural inclusion to this population.
There are some innovative organisations such as Fundación Capital (Capital Foundation) that seeks to reduce poverty in the country through investment in technologies. According to a study carried out in November 2017 by the ESADE Institute for Social Innovation in Colombia, the support from the government and several funds with social impact have allowed the development of a large number of initiatives in the field of digital social innovation, whose challenges are mainly education, health and economic growth. However, according to data from the same report, 36 percent of the Colombian population still does not have access to the Internet and, therefore, is without access to these proposals.