13.12.2013

The Ministry of Science presented a Brief Annual Report

The Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Lino Barañao disclosed the achievements of this ministry during 2013.

Minister Barañao during the presentation of 2013 results.

Minister Barañao during the presentation of 2013 results.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Lino Barañao, presented today a brief annual report for 2013 at the Science and Technology Cluster. During this act, Barañao indicated that the role of this Ministry is “to have a double view, one from the outside and another from the inside.From the inside to the outside to place Argentina within the sphere of nations that perform competitive science; and from the outside to the inside for all those who are still waiting to be able to overcame the gap of opportunities”. He also added that “this gap is not filled simply by giving resources or advice, but managing the means for the people to be able to use their knowledge to go through it, supplementing it with technology for such knowledge to be fructiferous”. “There are many people who engage their work in science and technology to reach sectors of the society which are eager for a change in their life quality, and that feel that the mere fact of paying attention to them involves a change in their dignity”, concluded Minister Barañao.

“There are many people who engage their work in science and technology to reach sectors of the society which are eager for a change in their life quality, and that feel that the mere fact of paying attention to them involves a change in their dignity”, say Barañao

Such event included the presentation of a documentary that tells about a productive model for the improvement of life quality of small rural producers, based on the sustainable use of guanacos for the appropriation of technological innovations in the city of Marlargüe, province of Mendoza. This video went around the city of Malargüe, its scientific attractions, such as the Pierre Auger Observatory, the Planetary and the DS-3 antenna, to conclude in the location of Las Salinillas, 160 km away from the city of Malargüe, where the Payún Matrú Cooperative is developing a project in connection with the sustainable use of the guanaco fibre.

This initiative aims at creating a value chain for such fibre and textile products deriving from guanaco, which will allow a synergy between the preservation of the environment and an improvement in the socio-economic situation of small producers in social vulnerability conditions. This will favour an alternative production strategy for arid areas and for adaptation to climate change. For such purpose, the Ministry of Science, through its National Agency for Science and Technology Promotion will spend ARS 5,678,639. The actions will be performed by a public-private associative consortium whose members are the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), the National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI), the Municipality of Malargüe (Mendoza) and the Payún Matrú Cooperative.

The most outstanding facts for this year were:

Launch of the Argentine National Science, Technology and Innovation Plan, Argentina Innovadora 2020.

This document was presented by this Ministry, with guidelines for the science, technology, and innovation in our country until 2020. It was launched earlier in March, and its purpose is to boost inclusive and sustainable productive innovation based on expansion, progress and full use of our national scientific and technical capabilities, thus increasing competitiveness of our economy and improving the quality of the life of our population within a frame of sustainable development.

Over the course of this year, we carried out the Plan scheduling phase, including the deployment of 18 implementation tables, with the publication called 10 Planes Operativos (10 Operating Plans), from which, 17 new proposal files have been obtained.

Budget

During 2013, this Ministry received a budget allocation of ARS 4,119,000,000 from the National Treasury, which was added to the external funds obtained, for ARS 447,500,000. For 2014, the budget approved was ARS 4,963,173,549 and external funds committed for ARS 588,748,000.

Career as a CONICET Researcher

An Annual Call has been organised to apply for the Career as Researcher during 2013, where 872 new positions were approved, 13% of the recruited positions were related to strategic topics focused on the Argentine National Science, Technology and Innovation Plan, Innovadora 2020”. This body also recruited 116 professionals and Support technicians. They reached a total of 7907 researchers and 2367 professionals and technicians.

New Criteria for Evaluation of Scientific and Technical Staff

Important agreements were reached with respect to scientific and technological staff, particularly those who are engaged in technological development and innovation. Such agreements are consolidated in two documents signed by all the country scientific institutions.

Scientist One Thousand Repatriated

We introduced the one thousandth scientist repatriated. The repatriated scientist, Verónica Perera, who returned to our country in February, this year, after living 14 years in New York, to join a team of researchers and professors from the National University of Avellaneda (UNDAV). Perera returned to Argentina within the frame of the RAICES Programme (Network of Argentine Researchers Living Abroad).

CONICET Scholarship Programme

During this year, the Internal Scholarship Programme, included those in connection with strategic topics, included 1907 new doctorate and post-doctorate scholars. The number of CONICET scholars climbed to 8877. Within the frame of the BEC.AR Programme, we signed an agreement for the promotion of short stays abroad for Type I and II scholars. 80 annual scholarships will be granted to CONICET internal scholars over four years in sustainable development areas that are strategic for our country.

Scholarships from the National Agency for Science and Technology Promotion

It has funded 1142 scholarships for Science and Technology Research and Projects (PICT) and for the Human Resources Programme (PRH).

External Scholarships

Within the IAESTE Programme (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience), 37 scholarships were granted for Argentinean students in 17 different countries and 41 scholarships were granted in Argentina for foreign students from 18 different countries. Such Programme intends to encourage labour training for students from international students.

Work Plan for Science and Technology

During 2013, we completed the construction work of 7125 m2 of infrastructure for science and technology with an investment of ARS 52,101,567, with a 16% increase with respect to the surface existing in 2007. On the other hand, 21 construction works are underway, which will represent an increase of 55,563 m2. This year, we also invested ARS 4,743,000 for infrastructure remodelling, refurbishment, and extension work of CONICET Executive Units.

Second Phase for the Science and Technology Cluster

Over the course of this year, we have completed 30% of the second phase of the construction work to complete the buildings for the Science and Technology Cluster, including: A new eleven-storey building for the CONICET, the interactive science museum with more than 1150 m2 for exhibitions, an auditorium for 500 spectators, two secondary auditoriums for 100 spectators, 3 workshop classrooms and a public newspaper library. Work has been estimated to be completed by October 2014.

New Offices for the National Genetic Data Bank

We completed remodelling work for the new offices of the National Genetic Data Bank (BNDG) that will be located at Avenida Córdoba 831, once it is transferred to its current location at the Durand Hospital. Work has been started in compliance with the national act No. 26,548 in 2009, which transferred the Bank to the sphere of this Ministry. The facilities where the BNDG will be located take a total surface of 470 m2 and have offices and laboratories that were built under strict safety standards and are essential for ensuring the right management of data and equipment used for obtaining, storing, and analysing genetic data in connection with the resolution of crimes against humanity.

New Offices for the Argentine Nanotechnology Foundation

We completed work for the construction of the FAN administrative offices and the centre for Escalation of nanotechnology projects, NanoFab: 1600 m2 built for the development of facilities used as a service platform for companies, researchers, and experimental designs as well as to consolidate the Foundation’s management.

International Interdisciplinary Institutes for Innovation

Experimental equipment and platforms were established. Scientists were recruited, especially repatriated who have already arrived in our country, and some others will join in 2014. The first publications were issued with the experimental results obtained at the Science and Technology Cluster. Seminars were performed with guests every week, some of them from other countries, and some training courses / workshops were performed for the entire scientific community. Some work meetings were held internally for the development of the interdisciplinary concept for the different Institutes from the Science and Technology Cluster.

Official Opening of the “Tomás Maldonado” International Knowledge Design Centre

It was officially opened at the International Interdisciplinary Institutes for the Innovation of the Science and Technology Cluster. The new “Tomás Maldonado” International Knowledge Design Centre is named after the recognised industrial designer, Professor Tomás Maldonado, who had a fundamental role in the field of visual arts and industrial design in Argentina. The purpose of this Centre is to implement projects in strategic areas, where design is an innovation tool to generate a space for interaction with other institutes from the Cluster and its international partners, such as Italy.

Creation of New Units from the CONICET

Within the frame of the federalisation, 10 units were incorporated to the institutional network of 10 Executive Units from the Science and Technology Centre in Tandil, and 3 new Research and Transfer Centres in Formosa, Chubut, and Villa Maria (Córdoba).

Continuous Improvement of Institutions

In the Institutional Assessment Programme currently participated 35 institutions, such as a tool to strengthen management, planning and improvement of institutional processes and serves as input for the decision-making process.

Funding of Projects

Through the National Agency for Science and Technology Promotion, resources were provided to more than 2300 new projects, exceeding by 15% the amount of projects awarded in 2012. New instruments were created to drive the achievement of objectives from the Argentine National Plan, Innovadora 2020, aiming at the creation or extension of Centres for Technological Development and Services, the performance of Biotechnological Projects for Transnational Research and Rational and Efficient Use of Energy, the recruitment of doctors for technology transfer to universities (D-Tec), the appraisal of research conducted through Science and Technology Research Projects (PICT), and at supporting the completion of careers related to information and communications technologies.

The first call was performed for the new promotion instrument “Doctors for Technology Transfer” (D-TEC), aimed at promoting the incorporation of doctors recently graduated from public universities to promote articulation between knowledge production and transfer to the production sector. 26 universities took part of this call, whose projects are currently under evaluation.

Investment on Undertakings with a High Content in Micro and Nanotechnology

The Argentine Nanotechnology Foundation funded 31 projects during the pre-seed and seed phase for a total amount of ARS 3,137,775.

Projects from the Federal Council for Science and Technology

Funds were provided for priority 12 Federal Projects of Productive Innovation (PFIP), 17 Productive Chain Projects (Associated PFIP-ESPRO) for the competitive development of regional value chains, 49 Projects to provide Support to the Touristic Sector (ASETUR) to drive regional touristic centres and 47 for Municipal Technological Development Projects (DTEM) to drive local development processes.

Technological Research and Networking at the CONICET

Currently, the CONICET has 2502 Multiannual Research Projects (PIP), which received funding for ARS 45,000,000 in 2013. In matters of technological networking, 9000 technological service orders were performed. 161 agreements were signed with public agencies and companies (83% corresponds to PyMES) and 87 applications for patents were submitted for new technologies in Argentina and abroad (the agency has got 600 patents).

Projects with Public and Private Entities

Agreements were signed between the CONICET and the YPF Foundation (FYPF) for a call for Oriented Research Projects co-funded in strategic topic-related areas. Another joint initiative was carried out by the National University of La Plata because both institutions were interested in addressing regional emergencies. A call was started for research work for the technological offer, in line with the services, research and development and consulting of Y-TEC S.A., created by YPF and the CONICET.

ICT Industry-Academy Collaborative Projects

Sadosky Foundation started funding collaborative projects between universities and companies about topics, such as supercomputing with FPGA, educational games based on advances on neurosciences, data warehousing for companies that create ERP software and software for judicial research.

Design of an Instrument for Transnational Biotechnological Research Projects (PBIT)

A technological platform for organic synthesis has been created and a funding instrument has been designed for public production of medications. The purpose is to generate biotechnological platforms that facilitate advances for the improvement of people’s health care at public hospitals based on transnational research, and, in turn, an instrument was created for funding projects for public production of medications.

Conformation of a Programme for the Support of the Productive Sector (ASeP), implementation of Techno-business Round Tables. Start-up of a Technological Antenna

Through the Platform for Demands and Technology Transfer, 235 demands for innovation were surveyed and advice was provided for 134 projects form companies, public institutions, entrepreneurs, company chambers and municipalities. Techno-Business Round Tables were organised in Chubut, Entre Rios and Mendoza where 125 companies participated, out of which, 165 ideas-projects were designed. The 1st National Technological Entrepreneur Week was performed, where 110 institutions from all over the country participated in 160 activities. We launched the Technological Antenna Platform nation-wide in sectors, such as Plastic Containers for Food, Textile, Auto-part and Nanotechnology Industry, and key and strategic information was made available to chambers, company associations, government agencies, public and private universities and agencies for the decision-making process.

Optimisation of the use of heavy scientific equipment; strengthening of vivariums for production of animals for laboratories and improvement of occupational health and safety and technical competencies of laboratories

Two new national systems have been created for Vivariums and Magnetometry, in addition to the 11 that are already operating. Six vivarium improvement projects have been funded to improve the quality of the production and breeding of animals for laboratories and 2013 calls have been implemented for Occupational Health and Safety projects and for Accreditation of Public R&D Laboratories.

Free Access to Scientific Data

Act No. 26,899 has been enacted for Free Access to Scientific Data, for which our country has become one of the more advanced countries as to public polices for unrestricted access to scientific knowledge; implementation of three national portals for data and publications: Biological Data with almost a million records; Sea Data, with more than 34 physical-chemical sea, bathymetric, biological and satellite databases; Digital Repositories with more than 30,000 national publications. The Electronic Library, with its new website exceeded 4,000,000 searches for bibliography.

Risk Management Work Commission

A commission was created for 16 agencies that belong to the scientific system and 9 national agencies that do not belong to the system. It coordinates scientific response to a natural disaster.

Launch of ALCUE NET

ALCUE NET “Network for Research and Innovation in the European Union -– Latin America and the Caribbean", consists in the first bioregional project between Argentina and the European Union, coordinated by Argentina through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation and is integrated by 17 countries. This project will support future meetings of top officers in science and technology, within the frame of subject areas, such as bio-economics, biodiversity, information and communications technologies, and renewable energies.

Institutional Agreement between the Scientific System and the Provinces

The Biodiversity Advisory Commission prepared an agreement to improve and order the taking of samples for scientific research. It will be implemented through a Single Inter-institutional Form for its management, to be filled in by researchers and will be managed between the scientific institutions and the Environmental Application Authorities of the provinces and other jurisdictions. Thus, both provinces and other jurisdictions will have reciprocal benefits, as well as researchers, scholars, technicians and related staff, increasing knowledge on our country natural resources, which will improve the decision-making process about such topics.

National Committee of Ethics in Science and Technology (CECTE)

“Proposals for socially accountable science and technology”, a set of principles drawn in connection with social accountability of researchers from public agencies and institutions that belong to the national system of science, technology and innovation that comply with international statements and conventions about ethics in science, and gathered for his final formulation, the opinions of 400 Argentine active researchers working for public institutions across the country and members of the Raíces Programme abroad. Published in the Ministry and the CECTE’s institutional portal, together with their English and Portuguese versions will be publicly released in 2014.

Stem Cells

We completed drafting of the Decree Law which is aimed at regulating all the issues that belong to the national research field and therapies with cells. We drove the creation of a Network of Patients for Advanced Therapies (APTA), integrated by more than 35 associations of patients, to have a communication that facilitates the dissemination of true and accurate information about science and technology progress and about the availability of effective therapies for patients.

Disclosure and promotion of vocations and scientific work

During 2013, some researchers participated in Tecnopolis and a Programme for the Promotion of Scientific Vocations has been devised by the CONICET through which, different activities were generated in the City of Mar del Plata, with the visit of 700 students to the Puerto Deseado Oceanographic Vessel In Baigorria and Rosario, (Santa Fe), Colón (Buenos Aires) and the headquarters of the Secretariat of Culture from the of Slum 21-24 located in Barracas (CBA and a few talks were made with people from the same school cycle. “Science, what can you tell me? And we called more than 2500 secondary students. CONICET produced a Documentary which generate disclosing materials and television contents, such as for Micromundos, Misión Aventura y Juana y Mateo, who were broadcasted by Paka Paka, TEC TV, Canal Encuentro and the TV Pública.

Tecnópolis 2013

During this season it was visited by 4,400,000 people, the Ministry installed 22 spaces inside the premises, which had over 41,200 m2 used. The following were highlighted: Biotechnology, Mathematics, Physics, Human Evolution; Geology; Palaeontology; Ethnography and Aquarium. Agreements were signed with six universities and a total number of 325 guides who are students of other university careers and 285 guests, who accompanied the groups round this facility. More than 200,000 kits related to science dissemination with books and topic-based posters were handed out based on proposals made by this Ministry. The Ministry organised 52 events, between special visits and acts, aiming at disseminating scientific and technological advances in our country and at promoting articulation between the private sector and related sectors. Also, more than 300 presentations were made by scientists and researchers who, together with the CONICET and a set of eight conferences about stem cells with the National Commission in Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine in the field of Science.

Science Week

We launched the XI National Week of Science and Technology, where more than 1000 activities were performed (conferences, exhibitions, workshops and special assignments, guided tours, etc.). They were held in 75 locations across the country.

Incentive for Compute Careers

A new edition of Dale Aceptar was organised with more than 9000 persons enrolled in it. The purpose is to get secondary students to computer programming and to promoted vocations in new technologies for new technologies. We also launched the Computer Studies (www.studycomputerscience.gob.ar) which provides for the information about the existing careers related to information science and any detail about the universities offering their careers.

Prizes and Competitions

11 prizes and contests were organised by the Ministry as the Prize for the Nobel Award winner (A. Roig" Call 2013. A Tribute to highlighted scientist who - due to their work on sustainable use of biodiversity, a Tribute for a highlighted personality of culture which for its promotion of sustainable use of biodiversity, Nanotechnology contest for one day, Research of the Year, and 9th National Innovation Contest, INNOVAR. Also, prizes were granted at CTI (Luis Federico Leloir" and RAICES, the South American prizes in CTI, "Education for science, the identity contest, the national drawing contest for “Science for peace and development”, the National Arcor Prize for Food Innovation, the Tenaris Prize to the Argentine Technological Development and a new edition of the Challenge Dale Aceptar.

Communication

Between the communication activities we can highlight that we had 16,353 news articles from the Ministry and we produced 110 videos and received 1,015,851 visits on the Web www.mincyt.gob.ar. We also launched the new Website in Spanish and in English + a release for mobile phones. Presence in social networks has increased by over 200% and Instagram was added. 510 integral press campaigns were performed and 14 marketing campaigns. 600 graphic pieces were designed.

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  • Minister Barañao during the presentation of 2013 results.
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Minister Barañao during the presentation of 2013 results.

Minister Barañao during the presentation of 2013 results.

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