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Seminar analyzes the National Program for Knowledge Platforms

by Richard Meckien - published Sep 05, 2014 02:25 PM - - last modified Sep 15, 2014 04:27 PM

Ilustração - Programa Nacional de Plataformas de ConhecimentoLaunched by the federal government on June 25, the National Program for Knowledge Platforms (PNPC) will enable the creation of public-private arrangements for the articulation of skills based on a scientific, technological and advanced innovative infrastructure, involving universities, research institutions and companies.

According to members of the government, these arrangements will be structured to solve major problems in Brazil and its definition will be guided by the country's strategic priority demand.

The Steering Committee of the program consists of the ministers of civil matters, finance, education, development, industry and foreign trade, planning, budget and management, and science, technology and innovation. Some of the goals of the initiative are to build 20 platforms of knowledge in ten years in areas such as agriculture, health, energy, aerospace, information technology and communications, and naval equipment, to increase investment in research and development to 2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2020, to attract highly skilled professionals from abroad to work in sub-programs, and to provide special arrangement platforms for purchasing and contracting personnel.

To discuss the characteristics of the program and the expected effects of its deployment, IEA's Innovation and Competitiveness Observatory (OIC) Research Group will hold the seminar National Program for Knowledge Platforms on September 26 ,at 10 am, at USP's Polytechnic School (POLI). The presentation will be in charge of sociologist Glauco Arbix, President of FINEP (Financier of Studies and Projects) and professor at USP's Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences (FFLCH). The panelists will be the Vice President of USP, Vahan Agopyan, the Provost for Research, José Eduardo Krieger, and Antonio Mauro Saraiva, a professor at POLI. Moderation will be in charge of Mario Salerno, coordinator of the reaearch group and professor at POLI.


According to Glauco Arbix, the government's concern is to prepare the groundwork for a leap in science and technology in Brazil. He stressed that "the assumption is that the country can no longer do more of the same. Technological development in universities and companies is working the wrong way: they present their projects and we advance if they move on, or if not we more or less remain at the same level or even move back."

According to the sociologist, the logic that guided the formulation of PNPC was to invert this process: "The government should publicly offer a strategic demand for the country, and consortia between companies, universities and research institutes are formed to fulfill this demand." This strategy "has nothing to do with an intention to direct science or constrain scientific research, limiting its creativity and innovation. On the contrary, it has to do with putting academic research and engineering linked to companies in tune with the country's effort to develop."

Arbix considers that the PNPC puts Brazil on the same level as the top countries in the world when it comes to this kind of research and development structure. According to him, the United States are building 45 platforms with the same spirit, the European Union is developing 60 centers of excellence in different countries and Korea has implemented similar experiences.

To the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Clélio Campolina, the program is an opportunity to "articulate the country's education, science and technology for the development, making the connection between scientific knowledge and business base, with the mediation of development institutions and funding."

The event will be broadcast live on the web.