Science Policy Information Network: the prototype

The Science Policy Information Network (SPIN) was launched in Montevideo (Uruguay) on 15 September 2010. SPIN is a revolutionary cluster of databases equipped with powerful graphical and analytical tools that has been devised for decision-makers and specialists in science, technology and innovation (STI) by UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Science in Latin America and the Caribbean.

UNESCO’s office in Montevideo has developed a methodology for the standardization and systematization of data on STI policies in the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, together with a sophisticated information system that includes:

  • A detailed inventory in Spanish and English of each national innovation system in the region, with a description of their institutional structure and details of their main programmes, priorities, performance, planning and strategies for international co-operation;
  • A database encompassing all the relevant legal frameworks in each country;
  • An inventory with detailed descriptions of more than 900 different technical and financial science policy instruments implemented by the 33 countries in the region, divided into nine categories by objective and strategic goal, into 11 categories by type of facility and into 18 categories by type of beneficiary;
  • A database containing 170 descriptions of national and international organizations and other NGOs which provide technical and financial co-operation in science and technology. These institutions are classified by area and type of co-operation, geographical focus and type of beneficiary;
  • A powerful geo-referenced analytical software (Stat Planet) in Spanish and English which includes more than 450 temporal series, some of them ranging from 1950 to the present time. These time series encompass different groups of indicators: economic, social, governance, gender, environmental, ICT and STI. The Stat Planet software also allows for an analytical estimation of correlations between pairs of indicators. The evolution of different indicators can also be studied over time and compared with other regions or countries to allow decision-makers and specialists to detect different patterns in the data.
  • A digital library specializing in STI with over 800 titles produced by UNESCO;
  • A tool allowing a full country report containing all SPIN information to be exported in the form of a PDF file.

The aim now is to extend coverage to Africa, the arab states and asia, within the GO→SPIN project.


To access the SPIN platform (in English and Spanish), click here.

SPIN is one of the five pillars of the Regional Strategic Action Plan in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy for Latin America and the Caribbean due to be adopted in December 2011.

For details, contact Jorge Grandi or Ernesto Fernandez-Polcuch

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