Minister defends bigger budget for science and technology and correct value of research grants – News

05/25/2022 – 15:42

Eileen Minkee / House of Representatives

Representative Milton Coelho (left) and Minister Paulo Alvim at a public hearing

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Paulo Alvim, defended the need to allocate more budget resources to the sector, at a public hearing in the Committee on Science, Technology, Communications and Information Technology of the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday (25).

Looking at the ministry’s budget resources, we’re seeing a decline. I don’t want to give up on our defense of our need for more resources in science and technology. We have been able to fully implement every resource made available. Last year, 99% of what was allocated was fully invested.

According to him, even with the budget cut, the ministry was able to maintain the integrity of resources for researchers and did not cut grants. But the challenges of increasing the number of exchanges and correcting the current values ​​of the exchanges will remain. Today, according to him, 50 thousand professors and 25 thousand doctors are trained annually.

“If we don’t take quick action, next year’s master’s scholarship will be below some minimum wage in the region. No country can have this practice of evaluating its own researchers who don’t come with this recognition. This is something we need to build together, it doesn’t depend Only on the Ministry of Science and Technology, it depends on other ministries, it depends on this house in Palestine’s libiration organisation [Projeto de Lei Orçamentária Anual]”, He said.

The minister added that Brazilian scientists were getting older and asked parliamentarians for support in advocating public tenders for research institutions – including universities and institutes of science and technology.

Paulo Alvim also lamented the emergency in resources allocated to the region in previous years and applauded the approval by the National Congress of a law banning the resources of the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (FNDCT) from the Federation budget (Supplementary Law 177/21).

According to the minister, 62% of the non-reimbursable resources of the sector planned this year will go to the FNDCT. With the emergency ban, the fund’s resources are expected to jump from R$1.1 billion in 2021 to R$4.5 billion this year. To date, R$2.1 billion has already been invested.

Eileen Minkee / House of Representatives

Representatives Nilto Tato (E) and Solano criticized the government’s science and technology policy

Budget cuts
Opposition deputies emphasized that the integrated government by Paulo Alvim itself does not invest in science and technology. Merlong Solano (PT-PI) criticized the systematic budget cuts made by the Bolsonaro government in the region and said that, in practice, there are no concrete incentives for the points championed by the minister, such as attracting new researchers and increasing grants.

For example, discretionary spending on science, technology and innovation, which amounted to 0.09% of GDP in 2002 (R$1.3 billion), grew slightly, but reached 0.13% of GDP in 2013 (R$1.3 billion). .6.9 billion), and noted that it had fallen back to less than half of what it was in 2002: 0.04% of GDP in 2021.

MP Nilto Tato (Socialist Workers’ Party) said that the policy of the sector should be owned by the state and that Parliament did its part. He noted, for example, that President Jair Bolsonaro vetoed points in the law that prohibit emergency resources for the FNDTC and that Congress overrides the veto. In addition, he stated that the Bolsonaro government is denying and discrediting the flag.

I am a minister in Bolsonaro’s government and I am not a denier, I have history to prove it. Alvim replied, We believe, in the Bolsonaro government, that science is part of the solution, and I belong to the group that believes in this, and there are many of us.

Electronic voting machines
In response to a question from MP Gustavo Froe (PDT-PR) about electronic voting machines, the minister said: “The devices have many guarantees and have evolved. I cannot say the same about the software.” In his opinion, the voting process by electronic voting machines could have human intervention.

The minister’s arrival was suggested by the commission’s chairperson, Deputy Milton Coelho (PSB-PE). The congressman noted a series of recent setbacks in the sector. He noted that the country has again shown a growth in illiteracy rates and that more and more Brazilian scientists are turning to other countries. “In the digital age, we have nearly 40 million Brazilians without an internet connection. See how we are in a dangerous streak of decline and paralysis,” his assessment.

Milton Coelho also pointed to a recent survey conducted by the Brazilian Electrical and Electronics Industry Association (ABENI), which showed that 78% of factories in Brazil had problems last month supplying themselves with semiconductors. He criticized the government’s decision to close down the activities of Ceitec (Centro Nacional de Tecnologia Eletrônica), a company that developed silicon semiconductors – the so-called chips. The liquidation of CITIC, which began in 2020, has been halted since September 2021 by a decision of the Federal Court of Audit (TCU).

The head of the authority also criticized the transfer of the semiconductor sector policy from the Ministry of Science and Technology to the Ministry of Economy. “Paulo Guedes will end Brazil, he is destroying all organized national politics. One can discuss how the model that CITIC will produce semiconductors will produce in Brazil, but not in the wake of Paulo Guedes, who is doing things that harm his country all the time,” he said. .

The minister said that production capacity will be preserved with the liquidation of “SITIC”, and that the social organization that will take over the company will give continuity to the general policy of semiconductors. But he realized that the semiconductor industry was strategic and that laying it off was a mistake.

“Without going into merit analysis, because then I would position myself more as an engineer than as a minister, the world made some process choices that were not only mistakes made by this country, and many countries have committed and laid off their semiconductor industries,” he assessed.. “Still We have a world of 14 industries working in a niche that need to be promoted and appreciated and we have a strategy to attract players. The Ministry of Science and Technology, along with the Ministry of Economy, has been working on this for a long time.

Paulo Alvim informed that a policy proposal for the semiconductor industry is being built and will be sent to the Chamber of Deputies and said the ministry is advocating that this will be done as a temporary measure, given the necessity of the matter.

Eileen Minkee / House of Representatives

Representative Vinicius Boett praised Minister Alvim’s “artistic performance”.

In addition to more public resources, the minister advocated for more private resources in science and technology. He said that 80% of research in science and technology in the country is conducted in universities and advocated hybrid models that allow to bring private resources to universities, stressing that this is different from privatization.

Alvim also praised the Congress’ approval of the legal framework for startups and informed that the government currently has an open public call for startups worth R$80 million, to support AI innovation projects.

Chamber’s Legal Framework Rapporteur Vinicius Poet (Novo-SP) praised the minister’s technical performance and questioned how to ensure implementation of startups across the territory. The minister stated that this is already happening and that the number of start-ups has increased. He informed that the government encourages dialogue with municipal governments, but that it would be a “small job”.

Deputy Coronel Chrysostomo (PL-RO), in turn, criticized the head of the commission for exposing an opinion about the government. He advocated the government’s work in science and technology, especially regarding the application of the Internet in the Amazon region. “The Bolsonaro government is deploying technology in thousands of schools for children, parents of children and communities to connect,” he said.

Alcantara base
Representatives Angela Amin (PP-SC) and Bira do Pindaré (PSB-MA), in turn, questioned the Minister regarding respect for Quilombola communities threatened with expulsion through the implementation of the Alcântara Release Centre, in Maranhão. “We are very concerned about the excluded, affected and historically excluded communities from the whole process of organizing this rule in the municipality of Alcantara, Quilombola province,” said Pera do Bindari. He advocated guaranteeing financial assistance to ensure the livelihoods of communities when there are periods of missile launches.

The minister emphasized that the government respects and will respect Quilombola communities who will not be expelled. He said the communities had been listened to and the demands made by the leaders had been met. “For example, today Quilombola’s sites have access to the Internet,” he was quoted as saying.

Alvim also reported that the government will soon submit a public space bill to the National Congress to regulate the sector.

Reporting – Lara Hajj
Editing – Roberto Cibra

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