Workshop to devise funding strategies for S&T within MERCOSUR

2 November 2001 This month, a workshop will be proposing lines of action for national management strategies and financing mechanisms for science and technology in the MERCOSUR sphere.

The workshop, to be held in Montevideo (Uruguay) on 26 and 27 November, will also be suggesting inputs to the Specialized Network of Science and Technology for MERCOSUR (RECYT) agenda. This will involve studies on financing mechanisms for innovation and sectoral innovation policies, thematic MERCOSUR meetings and sub-regional activities on popularization of science and technology, such as MERCOSUR Award Science Clubs.

National and sub-regional specialists will be making presentations to the workshop, which is expected to attract participants from all stakeholder groups of science and technology.

In addition to government figures, faculty members and entrepreneurs, representatives of RECYT, UNESCO, CYTED, the Organization of American States (OAS), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), European Union and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) will be participating in the meeting.

The workshop is being organized by the National Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (DINACYT) within Uruguay’s Ministry of Education and Culture and by the Science and Technology Analysis and Policy section of UNESCO’s Montevideo office (Uruguay).

The MERCOSUR countries are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Chile and Bolivia have Associate Member status.

The World Conference on Science called for ‘innovative and cost-effective mechanisms for funding science and pooling the S&T resources and efforts of different nations ... with a view to their implementation by relevant institutions at the regional and international levels’ (para. 27, Science Agenda).

It also recommended participatory mechanisms involving all relevant sectors and stakeholders to ‘identify the needs of the nation and give priority to support for the public research needed to achieve progress in the various fields, ensuring stable funding for the purpose.’ Parliaments were advised to adopt corresponding measures and levels of budget appropriation.

Governments and the private sector were encouraged to achieve an adequate balance between the various mechanisms for funding scientific research and to explore or promote new funding possibilities through appropriate regulation and incentive schemes, with public-private partnerships between universities, research institutes and industry based on flexible schemes, and with governments guaranteeing the accessibility of generated knowledge (paras. 14-16, Science Agenda).

For further information, contact E.Martinez at : montevideo@unesco.org ; orcyt@unesco.org or go to: http://www.unesco.org.uy/