Brazil needs to invest in science to overcome economic crisis, says minister

- 23/08/2016

The Minister of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications, Gilberto Kassab, emphasized during the forum opening of the National Council of Research Support State Foundations (Confap, in Portuguese), the need for the country to invest in research and innovation to overcome the economic crisis.

“We, on the top of business, share the responsibility with the team constituted thereby to work hard to do our homework so that, along with the foundations [for research supporting], the state offices and scientific authorities can submit to Brazil signaling a path that can effectively mean more growth and job creation and wealth, so that we can have a better country, where people can have a better quality of life”, said the minister in São Luís, city of the State of Maranhão, in the northeast of Brazil.

Kassab reported on the efforts undertaken by several institutions, to sensitize the Executive and Legislative branches to reverse the decline in resources devoted to science. In early August, the Minister called for a mobilization strategy in order to ensure budget recovery, in a meeting of the National Council of State Offices for Science, Technology and Innovation Affairs (Consecti, in Portuguese).

“It is obvious that my presence here is to express our feeling and our certainty that, more than ever, the public policies of science and innovation require an expressive support of public power in state, local and federal plans”, said Kassab. “That all government may have political condition and capacity to face diversities in economic field, to know that this confrontation goes effectively by prioritizing investments and actions in the field of research”.


The governor of Maranhão, Flávio stressed the inequality among “social practices” and the Brazilian scientific production. “We live this when dealing with the public policy of science and technology, because Brazil has exactly one foot in the 21st century, in elite research in major publications in the world, while the other foot is in the 18th century, in social and institutional practices we would like to see overcome”, he said. “And Maranhão perhaps is the most failed example of this, unfortunately. In a few dozen kilometers from here, in the historic city of Alcântara, we have the large colonial houses of the 19th century cotton cycle and, next to it, the launching base of rocket and technological experiments of great importance to the country”.

The Forum schedule includes roundtable on strategic subjects for science and innovation in Brazil and promotion to research by means of National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), of Financing of Studies and Projects (Finep) and of Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (Capes, in Portuguese). The secretaries of Technological Development and Innovation, Álvaro Prata, and of Policies and Development Research Program of MCTIC, Jailson de Andrade, continue on the event until Friday (19).

The event was also attended by presidents of Confap, Sérgio Gargioni, of CNPq, Hernan Chaimovich, of Brazilian Society for Science Progress (SBPC), Helena Nader, and Foundation to Support Research and Scientific and Technological Development of Maranhão (Fapema), Alex Oliveira de Souza; the officer of Scientific and Technological Development of Finep, Ricardo Gattass; the secretary for Science, Technology and Innovation of Maranhão, Jhonatan Almada; the government secretary of Local Government Authority of São Luís, Lula Filho; the chief-executive officer of Vale Technological Institute, Luiz Mello; and state deputy Bira do Pindaré.

Source: Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (in Portuguese)

Photograph Credit: MCTIC's Communications Department.

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