Op-Ed: Exporting intellectual property to create wealth
It is the question on everyone’s mind: How can we create wealth within the framework of Puerto Rico’s current economic situation? But why don’t we ask instead, How do we create wealth in Puerto Rico with our collective knowledge?
The answer is simple: developing intellectual property, as in the development of exportable technology platforms. What is the inventory of exportable technological solutions that exist in Puerto Rico? How many are being developed and how many are just ideas that never become a concrete reality?
The same way a committee was formed to assess the challenges and potential of the ailing local construction industry, a multidisciplinary group focused on the development of intellectual property in the information systems area should be created to address and tap this potential asset in our economy. This group was launched recently by the Puerto Rico Information Technology Cluster, but a lot of more needs to be done, and not only by the technology industry.
This huge asset we have in our knowledge and intellectual property must be one of the most important pillars in our economic development platform.
The advantages are clear: applications and similar technology systems require no maritime or air transportation for distribution, so Cabotage laws are no obstacle. The electricity power consumption is not as significant as in the manufacturing and tourism sectors, and with the ease of access to the cloud, the power consumption occurs mainly outside the island, at a much lower cost.
Second, it is easily exportable. Case in point: a Puerto Rican company, e- Nabler was recently selected by the Seattle Seahawks to provide promotional items to sell during the Super Bowl through its POS system. Contrary to businesses that require physical space like hotels, stores, agriculture and traditional manufacturing systems, this kind of system does not take up significant space or overhead.
We should focus on increasing the already vast inventory of intellectual property projects on the island, foster the industry’s growth and promote it as a world-class asset, rather than continue to recycle old ideas.
If we need quick and efficient gas in our economy tank, there it is.