|According to Minister Luciana, Brazil ranks 13th in technological development, but 49th in innovation (Foyo: Rmulo Chico/DP Foto).
Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Luciana Santos (PCdoB), during a visit to Diario de Pernambuco, assessed her Ministry's actions in 2023 and listed the challenges it will face in the coming years. The first is to get rid of the legacy of science denial, which has restricted resources for research and innovation until 2026. Discussing the energy transition, including in the automotive sector, is one of the discussions on the agenda, as is the rapprochement between the two countries. Academia, the productive sector and the state, the so-called triple helix, as a mechanism that stimulates productive innovation.
According to Minister Luciana, Brazil ranks 13th in technological development, but 49th in innovation. According to her, this is due to the fate of our scientific production, which is in the drawers. “Culturally, the productive sector is sometimes biased against the university, and oftentimes, the university is also biased against the productive sector. We have to break this.”
About to assume the presidency of the union with PT and PV, the national president of the PCdoB stated that decisions regarding the 2024 elections must be by consensus, and that they must comply with President Lula's (PT) plans for the country's reconstruction. nation . In Recife, Luciana Santos believes she does not see as many disagreements, as should happen with regard to Jabuatao, where the Workers' Party fired former mayor Elias Gomez, and Olinda, which remains in an undetermined status.
Interview – Luciana Santos // Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation
Balance sheet 2023
The most impactful issue in 2023, because there was a lot of pressure, was the readjustment of scholarships, from CNPq and Capes, which has 250,000 scholarship holders. They are very crucial for research in various laboratories and universities across the country. And 10 years ago, they didn't have any kind of increase. So we increased it by up to 200%, which went to academic entry grants. This was faster than they themselves expected. Another thing worth noting is the complete restoration of the National Fund for the Development of Science and Technology, FNPq. Because this is the main fund to promote Brazilian science and technology policy. These are tax resources that come from closely related productive sectors, such as oil and gas, transportation and energy; Which finances the National Fund. So what did Bolsonaro do with the fund? He used it to create primary surplus. He had a unity fund. Therefore, the fund was conditional until 2026. The fund is as follows: half is repaid, which is credit, and the other half is economic support. Then, we were able to approve half of it, the credit portion, as a replacement fee. We achieved a TR of 2% as an index, giving a nominal rate of about 4%. From the second quarter until December, we were able to invest 100% of the budgeted R$10 billion, which represents the four years of the previous government.
We didn't do this randomly. We did this from the perspective of the Ministry's four strategic axes.
And what are they? Revitalize and expand the country's research infrastructure; Activities related to social development, namely social technology, is something that has been abandoned; Brazilian re-industrialization and strategic projects, which include the aerospace and nuclear sectors. And remanufacturing is a shared agenda with MEDIC. It is also a very positive thing in government. We have achieved a lot of convergence. Me, Geraldo Alckmin and BNDES, linked to MEDIC and led by Aloisio Mercadante. We were able to create a common agenda there. These six calls relate to the industrialization agenda. Which include, among others, digital transformation, energy transition, global warming, and the health industrial complex
Digital infrastructure is one of the programs we have been able to implement in the PAC (Growth Acceleration Plan). Because everything we engage in at PAC gets a different political treatment. It is under the supervision of the President of the Republic himself. So, we have R$8 billion of PAC resources, in six projects. Among the six are what we call “connectivity and capacity.” And Conecta is part of bringing broadband, information technology, which is already a success story for the RNP (National Network for Education and Research), an OS (social organization) that has a management contract with several ministries, but is more closely related to us.
Among its main tasks is ensuring the fiber optic network. The RNP has been around for many years, since President Lula's first government, and is the largest fiber optic network that has made it easier for the private sector to sell broadband. Here in Pernambuco alone there are 2,000 kilometers of optical fiber in 20 municipalities. Work begins next year. The first phase foresees the establishment of networks from Garanhon to Palmares; Palmares to Ipojuca; From Ipojuca to Recife, from Araribena to Petrolina… In other words, it will reach almost all regions, immediately, until June 2024.
We also included Cemaden (National Center for Natural Disaster Monitoring and Warning) in the PAC, which was created during President Dilma's government. Today, we monitor 1,080 municipalities via satellite and also via civil defense logic. Alert, environmental education. It is a complete strategic framework for reducing natural disasters in Brazil. Therefore, we will start by observing the 70% of municipalities with the highest population density.
Within 4 years, we will go from 1,083 monitored municipalities to 1,900 municipalities. This will make another reality possible. There are investments worth 2 million Brazilian reals for hydrological stations, a geotechnical station – which monitors hill floods – and hydrological stations to know the movement of tides. Therefore, we will ensure that this monitoring system is expanded. This is semadam.
At the meeting of ANDEVIS (National Association of Directors of Federal Higher Education Institutions), which brings together the deans of the country's main universities, we announced notifications worth R$ 1.2 billion for university infrastructure. There is no bad time when it comes to financing infrastructure. Of course you can't get to 100%, but it's a big size. What are the universities that we haven't seen in a while, right?
Mainly in the face of denial, which is one of the bad legacies we have left behind in this period. Because thanks to this denial, polio and measles and other things are back, right? An attempt to rewrite history, an anti-democratic attack. All this is obscurantism. Especially since tyranny is also a cousin and brother of obscurantism.
We invested R$100 million in a supercomputer. When I went to China, with the President of the Republic, we signed a continuation of the partnership that has been going on since the 1980s. This is the main constellation of satellites that we have. This is the company CYBRES, which is responsible for forest monitoring, for example. He is also the one who provides information to Cemaden. So, we will build another satellite with the Chinese to be able to take pictures of the Amazon rainforest through the clouds. Which we cannot do today. It's six months with clouds that we can't handle.
With the Germans, which was a big deal for us, we also had an agreement with the German Space Agency to build the platform and they will deploy the payload to measure greenhouse gas emissions from the production sector. Even now we are trying to understand why they did not do this with other countries, even in the European community.
We are responsible, for example, for implementing the development plan for the semiconductor industry, which makes photovoltaics possible. We have to get into carbon fiber, which is very important for wind turbines. We have to keep up with the challenges of the Brazilian biomes. From the bioeconomy, from the health industrial complex. For all the equipment and input challenges. At Hemobras, we have recombinant factor 8. The synthetic plant of. Biomanguinhos that Nísia (Andrade, Minister of Health) wants to complete there to produce IFA, the active pharmaceutical ingredient, which is very important for the production of vaccines. Biotechnology Network, Nanotechnology Network… There are many science and technology institutes. There are 123 science and technology institutes in Brazil, and we are working to create more. We just created the National Institute of Oceanic Research, because we did not have an institute that would centralize this network of scientific production in this area.
We are 13th in the world in technological development, and on the other hand, when it comes to innovation, what happens? This scientific production remains in the drawer. And this is our problem.
We are the 49th largest country in innovation, see the difference. This research is not conducted on products and services, why? Because it is even a cultural issue. Culturally, the productive sector is sometimes biased against the university, and very often, the university is also biased against the productive sector. We have to break this.
When I was in the Science and Technology Committee, as a federal deputy, I participated in drafting the legal framework for science and technology, which aims to build informal mechanisms that do not criminalize researchers who want to dialogue with the productive sector. Technically, we are talking about a triple helix, which is the university, the productive sector and the state working together. I also went on to create the Embrapim company, which we call Embrapa da Indústria. Here in Pernambuco we have five Embrapi units. What is Amrabi? One third from the state, one third from the university, and one third from the productive sector to provide solutions. This is innovation. You have to ensure this process.
We also participate in the National Energy Policy Council. Lola insists on participating. The automotive sector is an important player in the energy transition. Ethanol remains the star of the energy transition. It will take a long time for green hydrogen to arrive, to lace up ethanol's shoes. Ethanol has been a success story, since Proalcool, which was in the 1970s, thanks to which we created the Flex Engine, a real Brazilian development, thanks to our ethanol. The technological path for the automotive sector is clear to us. We will not switch to 100% electricity, because there is no advantage for us. Our path is hybrid. It is ethanol with an electric motor.
Regarding 2024, I know there are only five days left, but we are only talking about 2024 in 2024. But one thing is certain, it is President Lula who will decide where we are going. We are a union of PT and PV and need to make a joint decision. Regarding Recife, I think there is not much difference in the federation, but the result will happen taking into account the entire national context. I'll give you an example, in São Paulo, PT went with Boulos and PSB called Tabata (Amaral). So, until then, there will be a lot of discussion.
The following comments do not represent the opinion of Diario de Pernambuco; Responsibility of the letter writer.
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