This article illustrates the importance of establishing means of innovation in low-technology development contexts in order to provide inputs for an effective policy of innovation. Based on a representative study of industry in Bogotá and the Department of Cundinamarca, it identifies the predominant methods currently used to innovate and to approach the challenges of reality. The implications of policies focused on "market failure" and on an evolutionary perspective, are compared both analytically and empirically. The article proposes alternatives to encourage innovation. In the current context, characterized by profound technological heterogeneity, cross-cutting policies focused on R & D have little coverage, tend to widen the technology gaps, and make little contribution to technological and competitive upgrading.