For the first time in history, Argentina has a Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation. Created in December 2007 by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, it is the first in Latin America that includes production innovation connected to science and technology.
Its mission is to guide science, technology and innovation towards strengthening a new production model that generates greater social inclusion and improves the competitiveness of Argentinian economy, under the paradigm of knowledge as the heart of the development.
Words from the Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of the Nation, Dr. Lino Barañao
The Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation was created with the aim of incorporating science and technology for the economic and social development of the country. This goal has required a number of innovations as regards organizational structure and financing instruments so as to be able to implement policies through deliberate actions. Regarding the eclectic funding position that characterized Argentinian science for many years, this meant a major change, because from the creation of the Ministry, besides funding all disciplines, we also introduced actions to diversify the country's productive matrix and to solve social problems.
The central lines of our policies are based on promoting the growth of the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation through the increment of researchers' wages and the provision of infrastructure; linking academic and productive systems to generate public-private consortiums; and reducing the gap between the big cities and the interior of the country through funding lines of the Federal Council for Science and Technology (COFECYT) which had priorities set by provincial authorities and are closely related to regional needs.
For this to be possible, it is necessary to develop platforms that enable carrying out innovations in the productive system and solve basic problems of the population. Thus, we focus on the passage from horizontal policies to policies focused on general purpose technologies (nanotechnology, biotechnology, information and communication technology) and strategic sectors (agroindustry, energy, health, industry, environment and social development), drafted in national plans over which are established the guidelines for the scientific and technological system in Argentina.
We have a strong increase in funding that allows, for the first time in the country, to award major subsidies to ensure the realization of projects in these specific areas. At the same time, we continue with the long-term planning through the National Plan of Science, Technology and Innovation: Argentina Innovadora 2020 (Innovative Argentina 2020), which had for its creation the participation of different actors involved through a highly participatory working methodology.
We hope that these guidelines will constitute a state policy so that this investment effort made by Argentinian society result in tangible benefits for the entire population.
Lino Barañao, Ph.D.
Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of the Nation
The policies are medium and long-term targets established by the Ministry, following the guidelines set by the National Plan of Science, Technology and Innovation: Argentina Innovadora 2020 (Innovative Argentina 2020). They also function as a guide to direct their actions and guide the decision-making.
Technological and Inclusive Innovation
The Ministry of Science conceives innovation policies not only as an instrument to promote business competitiveness but also as a tool to define the guidelines for the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation (SNCTI) to provide solutions to urgent social problems of the country.
In this regard, it should promote an appropriate institutional framework and deepen the existing environment of incentives, to create a favorable environment that encourages businesses and entrepreneurs to create more and more innovations.
At the same time, the Ministry must ensure that technologies are properly implemented and meet the needs of strategic areas where high-impact productive and social problems are located.
Articulation of the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation
The Ministry of Science assumes effective coordination duties among SNCTI agencies, optimizing the use of existing resources with greater efficiency among programmes and projects of all institutions.
As part of a policy of active coordination, it is necessary to encourage cooperation between the different SNCTI actors and to promote netlike structure, enabling interactive, coordinated and flexible operation.
Science and Technology in the World
International relations are a key tool to strengthen national scientific and technological abilities of research and development (R & D), and create cooperation processes that contribute to economic and social growth of countries.
The Ministry of Science promotes the creation of Argentinian and foreign researchers’ networks to create enabling environments for collaboration and exchange of knowledge between scientists of the same specialty.
Strengthening of the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation
In this regard, it is essential to provide facilities that enable the improvement of the infrastructure and equipment of the SNCTI member organizations.
Furthermore, it should promote opportunities for the connection with Argentinian researchers living abroad, generate actions destined to promote the permanence of researchers in the country and facilitate the return of those interested in developing their scientific activities in Argentina.
It is necessary to identify the demands related to specific social and productive problems in every part of the country, to provide solutions from the generation and transfer of knowledge from more developed regional centers to the peripheral ones.
The Ministry of Science must coordinate actions that respond to the needs of each province, to reduce the technological gap and promote the correlation between the provincial research and the productive sectors.
Science and Technology Divulgation
The role of science and technology in the improvement of society requires a constant effort of dissemination. This task enables people to approach to the knowledge produced by the scientific and technological work and its applications.
The Ministry of Science must install the value of scientific culture as a way for social development. It is essential, in that sense, to collaborate in the education of the citizens, encouraging participation and social appropriation of knowledge.
National Law of Ministries. Description of the minister attributions and functions. List of goals and powers of national ministries.
National System of Science, Technology and Innovation. Goals of the national scientific and technological policies. National State Responsibilities. System structure. Planning. Funding of research and development activities and assessment of such activities. Special and General Regulations
National Plan of Science, Technology and Innovation
This plan is a strategic instrument through which the Ministry of Science establishes guidelines for scientific, technological and innovation policies in the country for the next years, providing continuity to the growth and consolidation of strategic areas and sectors.
The Plan mainly aims at boosting inclusive and sustainable productive innovation basing on expansion, progress and the full utilization of the national scientific and technological capabilities, thus, increasing economy competitiveness and improving the population quality of life, within a framework of sustainable development. The final document was written by the Department of Planning and Policies in Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of this Ministry.