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Full text of "Science and Technology in Brazil -€“ A New Policy for a Global World (summary paper)"

Science and technology should play a 
strategic role in Brazil, given the need 
to improve productivity in the 
economy, to deal with problems of 
poverty, education, health and 
environment degradation, and to 
participate more fully in an integrated 
world economy and society. 




SCIENCE AND 
TECHNOLOGY 
IN BRAZIL: 

A NEW POLICY FOR A 
GLOBAL WORLD 



CO 

Z 



6 



FUNOACAO GETUUO VARGAS 
E D I TOR A 



Simon Schwartzman (coord.) 
Carlos Osmar Bertero 
Eduardo Augusto Guimaraes 
Eduardo Krieger 
Eugene B. Skolnikoff 
Fernando Galembeck 
Georges Fern£ 
Lewis M. Branscomb 
Michael Gibbons 
Thomas Schott 



FundacaoGetuuo Vargas 
E D I TO R A 




Science and Technology in Brazil: 
A New Policy for a Global World 



Volume 1 

Simon Schwartzman (coord.) 

Carlos Osmar Bertero 

Eduardo Augusto Guimaraes 

Eduardo Krieger 

Eugene B. Skolnikoff 

Fernando Galembeck 

Georges Feme" 

Lewis M. Branscomb 

Michael Gibbons 

Thomas Schott 



FUNDACAO GETUUO VARGAS 

EDITORA 



ISBN 85-225-0182-3 



All rights reserved to Fundacao Getulio Vargas 
Praia de Botafogo, 190 — 22253-900 
CP 62.591 — CEP 22257-970 
Rio de Janeiro, RJ — Brasil 

Papers prepared for the science policy study carried on by the Escola de Admi-nistracao de Empresas, 
Fundajao Getulio Vargas, for the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology, within the Program 
for Scientific and Technological Development in Brazil (PADCT II). The opinions expressed in these 
texts are the sole responsibility of the authors. 

No part of this publication may be reproduced. 

Copyright © Fundacao Getulio Vargas 

1st edition — 1995 

Project coordinator. Simon Schwartzman 
Editing: Lucia Klein 

Information Management Division (DIGI) 
Director. Moacyr Antonio Fioravante 

Getulio Vargas Foundation Publishing House 

Editor in chief. Francisco de Castro Azevedo 

Editorial assistant. Cristina Mary Paes da Cunha 

Copydesk: Clovis Alberto Mendes de Moraes, Luiz Alberto Monjardim de Calazans Barradas and 

Maria Lucia Velloso de Magalhaes 

Desktop publishing: Eliane da Silva Torres, Jayr Ferreira Vaz, Marilza Azevedo Barboza, Osvaldo 

Moreira da Silva and Simone Ranna 

Proof-reading: Aleidis de Beltran and Fatima Caroni 

Production assistant: Helio Lourenco Netto 



Science and technology in Brazil: a new policy for a global world/Simon 
Schwartzman (coord.); Carlos Osmar Bertero...[et al.]. - Rio de Janeiro: 
Fundacao Getulio Vargas, 1995. 



Inclui bibliografia 

1 . Ciencia e tecnologia — Brasil. 2. Ciencia e estado — Brasil. 3. Tecno- 
logia e estado — Brasil. I. Schwartzman, Simon, 1939 — . II. Bertero, Car- 
los Osmar, 1937 — HI. Fundacao Getulio Vargas. 

CDD- 607.281 



Summary 



Foreword / 

Science and technology in Brazil: a new policy for a global world, 

by Simon Schwartzman, Eduardo Krieger, Fernando Galernbeck, Eduardo 
Augusto Guimaraes and Carlos Osmar Bertero 1 

Comments on "Science and Technology in Brazil", 
by Michael Gibbons 57 

Science & technology in the new world order, 
by Georges Ferae 72 

United States science and technology policy: the effects of a changing 
international environment, 
by Eugene B. Skolnikoff 105 

United States science and technology policy: issues for the nineties, 
by Lewis M. Branscomb 140 

Performance, specialization and international integration of science in Brazil: 
' changes and comparisons with other Latin American countries and Israel, 
by Thomas Schott 227 



Science and technology in Brazil: a new 
policy for a global world 



Simon Schwartzman 

Eduardo Krieger 

Fernando Calembeck 

Eduardo Augusto Guimaraes 

Carlos OsmarBertero 



Summary 



Brazil developed, in the last quarter of a century, a very significant effort to 
build its scientific and technological capabilities, but in the last decade this sector 
has suffered intensely from lack of resources, institutional instability and lack of 
clarity about its role in the economy, society and education. Brazil's science and 
technology sector is in need of urgent action. Recent transformations in the 
world's economy have made a country's scientific, technological and educational 
competence more important than ever to increase production, raise the standards 
of living of its population, and deal with its social, urban and environmental 
problems. Policies for science and technology can only be fruitful in association 
with coherent policies and actions for economic adjustment, education and indus- 
trial development. Policies from the central government can only be effective if 
they involve the active participation of state and local governments and of busi- 
ness, workers, educators and the scientific and technological community. The 
proposals put forward in this document should not be seen in isolation, but as a 
contribution to a much broader effort. 

This policy paper was prepared by the Getulio Vargas Foundation at the 
request of Brazil's Ministry of Science and Technology and the World Bank, as 
-established by the II Program for Scientific and Technological Development (the 
PADCT II agreement). The work was carried on with the cooperation of an inde- 
pendent group of scientists, economists and specialists of science policy in Brazil 
and abroad, which produced about 40 papers dealing with the international con- 
text, Brazil's scientific and technological capabilities, the links between science, 
technology and the economy, and Brazil's institutions for science and technology 



* This is the summary document of the science and technology policy study carried on by the Sao 
Paulo School of Business Administration, Getulio Vargas Foundation, for the Brazilian Ministry of 
Science and Technology, within the Program for Scientific and Technological Development (the 
PADCT II agreement between Brazil and the World Bank). The ideas expressed in this text are the 
sole responsibility of its authors. 



1 



support. This final document is the responsibility of the projects' coordinating 
team, and does not express necessarily the opinions of the Brazilian government, 
the World Bank, the Fundacao Getulio Vargas, nor of the individuals who con*- 
tributed with specific studies. 

The main thrust of this policy paper is that there is a definite need to move 
from the previous mode of scientific and technological development into a new 
one, more adequate to the current and future realities. This policy paper presents 
a summary of what Brazil's science policy was in the recent past, the current sit- 
uation, an overview of the recent transformations of science and technology in 
the international context, and puts forward some proposals for new directions. To 
implement these recommendations, the Brazilian government, with the support 
of the World Bank and other sources, should establish a high-level task force to 
evaluate this and other policy studies now being concluded, and propose specific 
policy measures to be carried on by the Ministry of Science and Technology and 
other agencies, and to be presented to Parliament to be enacted in law when nec- 
essary. The main recommendations are summarized below. 



Recommendations 

Science and technology are more important than ever for Brazil, if the coun- 
try is to raise the standards of living of its population, consolidate a modern econ- 
omy, and participate as a significant partner in an increasingly integrated and glo- 
bal world. The economy must modernize, and adjust to an internationally com- 
petitive environment. Education should be expanded and improved at all levels. 
As the economy grows and new technologies are introduced, new challenges will 
emerge in the production and use of energy, environment control, public health, 
the management of large urban conglomerates, and changes in the composition 
of the labor force. Strong indigenous competence will be necessary to participate 
as an equal in international negotiations and in the setting of international stan- 
dards that may have important economic and social consequences for Brazil. 

The new policy should steer away from the extremes of laissez-faire and 
centralized planning. A traditional, laissez-faire approach to scientific and tech- 
nological development will not produce the necessary competence on the scale 
and quality needed for these tasks. Large-scale, sophisticated and highly concen- 
trated technological projects are not likely to spin off into education and indus- 
trial development as a whole. Attempts to bring the whole field of science and 
technology under the aegis of centralized planning and coordination run the risk 
of stimulating large and inefficient bureaucracies, and to stifle initiative and cre- 
ativity of research. 

The new policy should implement tasks that are apparently in contradiction: 
to stimulate the freedom, initiative and creativity of the researcher, while estab- 
lishing strong links between his work and the requirements of the economy, the 
educational system and of society as a whole; and to make Brazilian science and 



2 ■ 



technology truly international, while strengthening the country's educational and 
S&T capabilities. 

To fulfill these tasks, the following recommendations are made: 

Technology and applied science 

(a) to redirect the country's technology policies, in line with new economic reali- 
ties. On the short run, policies should be geared to the reorganization and techno- 
logical modernization of the industrial sector. Permanent policies should exist to 
induce the more dynamic sectors of the productive system to enter a continuous 
process of innovation and incorporation of new technologies, to follow the 
rhythm of technical progress in the world economy. Both approaches require, as 
the main priority, the incorporation of existing technology to the productive pro- 
cess; 

(b) research groups in universities and government institutes should be strongly 
stimulated to link to the productive system and to engage in applied work, while 
maintaining a high level of academic and basic research activities. Resources for 
applied work should not come from the budget for basic activities, but from spe- 
cific sources in governmental agencies, special programs, private firms, and 
independent foundations. Applied projects should be evaluated in terms of their 
academic quality, but also of their economic viability and social and economic 
significance; 

(c) the current situation, in which 80 per cent or more of the current expenditures 
are public, should be changed. This should not be done by reducing further the 
government's expenditures in R&D, but by stimulating the private sector to 
invest more in this sector; 

(d) government agencies dealing with matters requiring research work, such as 
health, education, environment, energy, communications and transportation, 
should have resources to contract research with universities and research institu- 
tions on matters of their interest. This practice should prevail upon the tendency 
of these agencies to create their own research outfits, and their projects should be 
subject to joint evaluations by peer review and policy oriented authorities. 
Research institutes and centers in public agencies and state companies should be 
placed under peer oversight, and required to compete for outside research sup- 
port; 



(e) the current military projects should come under technical, academic and stra- 
tegic evaluation with the participation of selected, high quality scientific advis- 



ers, and be either streamlined, discontinued, reduced, or converted to civilian 
projects; 

(f) research programs in applied fields, like electronics, new materials, biochem- 
istry and others, should only be established in association with identified partners 
in industry, which should be involved from the beginning in setting objectives 
and in sharing costs; they should be subject to independent evaluations of eco- 
nomic, managerial and scientific feasibility, and monitored on these terms. 



Basic science and education 

Support for basic science should be maintained and expanded, with special 
attention to its quality, according to accepted international standards. Basic or 
academic science, broadly understood as research work that does not respond to 
short-term practical demands, remains essential for Brazil. The information it 
generates is free, and is the main source for the acquisition and spreading of the 
basis of tacit knowledge that permeates the whole field of science, technology 
and education. For a leading country, heavy investments in basic science can be 
thought of as problematical, since their results can be appropriated by other coun- 
tries and regions for very little cost. For the same reason, investments in basic 
science in small scientific communities can be extremely productive,, since they 
allow tapping the international pool of knowledge, competence and information. 

The existing pool of scientific competence has to be protected. Many of the 
best R&D institutions and groups are being dismantled by absolute lack of 
resources, and emergency measures are needed to deter this process. The govern- 
ment should guarantee a stable and predictable flux of resources to its main S&T 
agencies for their daily routines and "over the counter", peer reviewed research 
supporting activities. The most qualified research institutions and groups should 
be preserved in their ability to keep their best researchers and their work and edu- 
cate new scientists. The main mechanism for this should be the implementation 
of the proposed system of "associated laboratories", which should provide stable 
resources to about 200 research groups and institutions, based on clear proce- 
dures of evaluation and peer review. The estimated cost for maintaining this pro- 
gram is approximately US$200 million a year; a similar amount will be needed to 
provide these laboratories with basic equipment and infrastructure. 

Research institutions, particularly in universities, should be required to play 
a very active role in the enhancement of undergraduate and technical education, 
not only through teaching, but also through direct involvement in the production 
of good quality textbooks, the development of curricula and new teaching meth- 
ods and programs of continuous education. Adequate mechanisms should be 
devised to make these activities more rewarding and prestigious than they have 
been so far.. 



International cooperation 

Globalization requires a profound rethinking of the old dilemma between 
scientific self-sufficiency and internationalization. They should not be perceived 
as contradictory, but as complementary. Brazil has much to gain as it increases its 
ability to participate fully as a competent and respected partner in the interna- 
tional scientific and technological community. To meet this objective, the follow- 
ing policies should be implemented: 

(a) fellowship programs of Capes and CNPq for studies abroad should be revised, 
maintained, and eventually expanded. Fellowships should be awarded only to 
first-rate students, going to first-rate institutions, with a clear perspective of 
returning to productive work in Brazil. Fellowships for doctoral degrees should 
be combined with "sandwich" fellowships for doctoral students in Brazilian insti- 
tutions for reduced periods abroad, and with short-term support for training peri- 
ods in laboratories and companies. The existence of good quality doctoral pro- 
grams in a given field does not preclude the need to keep a permanent flux of stu- 
dents to the best foreign universities; 

(b) provisions should exist for post-doctoral programs both abroad and in Brazil, 
and to bring top-quality scholars from other countries for extended periods, or 
even permanent appointments, in Brazilian university and research institutions; 

(c) the channels for international cooperation between Brazil, international agen- 
cies and institutions, and the international scientific community, should be kept 
open and expanded. The World Bank, the International Development Bank and 
the United Nations Development Program have.played important roles in provid- 
ing resources for capital investment, research support and institutional develop- 
ment for Brazilian institutions. This presence should be maintained not only 
because of the resources involved, but because of what they bring in terms of 
international perspectives and competence. In the future, such agencies could be 
very helpful in a process of institutional reform. As a rule, cooperation among 
scientists, research institutions and private foundations in different countries is 
established directly, and needs the support, but not the interference, of govern- 
mental agencies; 



(d) the issues of protectionism versus market competitiveness in scientific and 
technological development should be dealt in pragmatic, rather than in ideologi- 
cal terms. The country should not renounce to its instruments of technological 
and industrial policy, including tax incentives, tariff protection, patent legislation, 
government procurement and long-term investments in technological projects, in 
association with the private sector. Adequate legislation for patents and intellec- 



tual property should be established with the understanding that they are necessary 
for the normalization of Brazil's relations with the industrialized countries. 



Information and knowledge dissemination 

New and systematic means to incorporate technology into the industrial pro- 
cess should be developed, with strong emphasis on the development and dissem- 
ination of norms and standards, information, and procedures for technological 
transfer and quality improvement. A well organized and properly funded knowl- 
edge infrastructure is necessary to assure the easy access of scientists to libraries 
and data collections in the country and abroad, making use of the latest technolo- 
gies of electronic communication and networking. It is necessary to make these 
links effective and transparent to the individual researcher, and to establish mech- 
anisms to bring texts and data to the scientist's working place. The role of 
CNPq's Brazilian Institute for Scientific and Technological Information (Ibict) 
should be reexamined in the light of the new technologies and competencies 
developed elsewhere. 



Institutional reform 

The Ministry of Science and Technology should restrict its role to matters of 
policy, financing, assessment and evaluation, without carrying R&D activities 
under its direct administration. Although a cabinet-level position for science and 
technology is clearly necessary, the very existence of a ministry of science and 
technology, with all its overhead costs and exposure to political patronage, 
should be reexamined. 

The existing system of federal institutions for scientific and technological 
support should be evaluated in terms of its ability to perform the functions 
needed by the sector: support for basic research, support for applied projects, 
large and small research grants, fellowship and training programs, scientific 
information, norms and standards, and others. Brazil needs a federal agency to 
provide long term, sizeable grants for institutions and cooperative projects. This 
was the role played in the past by the National Fund for Scientific and Techno- 
logical Development (FNDCT), administered by Finep. Whether these resources 
should be managed by Finep, CNPq or by a new institution should be examined 
as part of a broad review of the roles, jurisdiction and competencies of the exist- 
ing agencies. - 

Financing agencies should be organized as independent, state owned corpo- 
rations, and free of formalistic and bureaucratic constraints. They should be 
placed under strict limitations regarding the percentage of resources they can 
spend on administration, and should be supervised by high-level councils with 
the participation of scientists, educators, entrepreneurs and government officers. 



They should rely on external advise for their decisions, and their bureaucracy . 
should be limited to the minimum. 

Research institutions and public universities should not be run as sections of 
the civil service. They need to be free to set priorities, seek resources from differ- 
ent public and private agencies, and establish their own personnel policies. 

No research institution receiving public support, and no government pro- 
gram providing grants, fellowships, institutional support or other resources to the 
S&T sector, should be exempt from clear and well-defined procedures of peer 
evaluation, combined, when necessary, with other types of economic and strate- 
gic assessments. Peer review procedures should be strengthened by the federal 
and state governments, made free from pressures of regional, professional and 
institutional interest groups, and acquire a strong international dimension. For 
instance, research proposals could be easily distributed to international referees 
through electronic mail. 

Goal-oriented projects 

The broad changes suggested in this document do not preclude the adoption 
of well-identified projects linking science, technology and the productive sector, 
to deal with specific questions and problems and to strengthen the country's 
capabilities in selected areas. It is necessary to develop a list of main areas of 
established competence and social, economic and environmental relevance, 
which should be the focus of future investments; to identify areas that should be 
phased out, or reduced; and special weaknesses and competencies in need of 
strengthening and support. 



1. Science and technology in Brazil 

Brazil developed in the last 25 years the largest system of S&T in Latin 
America, one of the most significant among semi-industrialized countries. 
There are about 15,000 active scientists and researchers in the country, and 
about 1,000 graduate programs in most fields of knowledge. 1 Fellowships 
keep several thousand students in the best universities in the United States and 
Europe at any time. The number of research papers in international publica- 
tions is the highest in the region. Research takes place mainly in the major 



1 This figure depends on what a "researcher" is. The Brazilian National Research Council (CNPq) 
listed 52,863 researchers in 1985, for about 3.5 million persons with higher education degrees. How- 
ever, only 21.7 per cent of those, or 11,000, had doctoral degrees. The number of university profes- 
sors with doctoral degrees in 1991 was about 17,000, or 12 per cent of the total. This figure is also 
consistent with the number of research proposals presented to Fapesp and CNPq each year (Brisolla; 
Martins & Queiroz, 1987; Schwartzman & Balbachevsky, 1992). As for the graduate programs, the 
figure depends on whether one counts degrees offered or course programs proper. 



mSM 



universities, such as the University of Sao Paulo, the Federal University of 
Rio de Janeiro, the University of Campinas and the Sao Paulo School of Med- 
icine; in research institutes linked to the Ministry of Science and Technology, 
such as the National Institute for Space Research, the National Institute for 
Research on the Amazon and the National Institute of Technology; in research 
institutes belonging to the National Research Council (the Brazilian Center for 
Physics Research, the Center for Mineral Technology, the Institute of Applied 
and Pure Mathematics, the National Observatory, the National Laboratory for 
Computer Sciences, the National Laboratory of Astrophysics, the Emilio 
Goeldi Museum of Natural History, and the National Laboratory of Synchro- 
tron Light); in the Brazilian Corporation for Agricultural Research (Embrapa), 
linked to the Ministry of Agriculture; in the Oswaldo Cruz Institute, linked to 
the Ministry of Health; in research centers kept by the largest state-owned cor- 
porations, such as Petrobras (oil), TelebrSs (telecommunications), Eletrobr^s 
(electricity) and Embraer (airplane construction); in research "units linked to 
the armed forces, such as the Air Force Technological Center (CTA); in insti- 
tutes belonging to state governments, specially in Sao Paulo, like the Butanta 
Institute (vaccines), the Biological Institute and the Institute for Technological 
Research (IPT); and in a few leading private corporations, such as Aracruz 
Celulose (paper), Itautec (computers), Aco Villares, Metal Leve (mechanical 
components), Elebra (computers), and others. 

Most research activities in Brazil take place in universities. Brazil has 
about 1.5 million students enrolled in undergraduate programs, 30,000 in mas- 
ters and 10,000 in doctoral programs. About one third of the undergraduate, and 
most of the graduate students are in public universities, which are free of 
charges. The remaining 1 million attends private institutions, which, with very 
few exceptions, do not have graduate education and research. The Federal gov- 
ernment spent about US$3,4 billion on higher education in 1990, and the state of 
Sao Paulo an additional US$871 million for its three universities (Goldemberg, 
1993b; Durham, 1993; Campanano & Serra). 2 The gross per capita costs for 
students in public universities are between US$5,000 to US$8,000 a year, with 
most of the money going for salaries and the maintenance of hospitals. 3 For 
research, university professors have to apply to Federal or State agencies, 
national and international private foundations, or to engage in research contracts 
with governments, public corporations and, to a lesser degree, private institu- 
tions. 



2 These figures are only rough estimates, because of high inflation and unstable exchange rates. 

3 For different perspectives on student costs, see Paul & Wolynec (1990), and Gaetani & Schwartz- 
man (1991). The estimation is that hospitals absorb about 10 per cent of university's budgets (they 
have also other sources of income). 



8 



Table 1 

Brazil, expenditures in science and technology and gross domestic 
product, 1980-90, in US$ millions of 1991 1 

Expenditures National Gross 

Government of the National expenditures domestic 

Federal State expenditures productive expenditures as % of product 

Year budget 2 budgets 2 (1 + 2) sector (3+4) GDP (GDP) 3 



1980 


824.5 


496.8 


1,321.3 


330.3 


1,651.6 


0.43 


386,863.3 


1981 


1,519.6 


672.4 


2,192.0 


548.0 


2,740.0 


0.74 


370,279.2 


1982 


1,863.3 


654.6 


2,517.9 


629.5 


3,147.4 


0.85 


372,122.9 


1983 


1,475.4 


462.6 


1,938.0 


484.5 


2,422.5 


0.67 


359,727.6 


1984 


1.426.9 


500.7 


1,927.6 


481.9 


2,409.5 


0.64 


378,422.2 


1985 


1,953.9 


501.9 


2.455.8 


613.9 


3,069.7 


0.75 


408,151.6 


1986 


2,288.6 


651.3 


2,939.9 


735.0 


3,674.9 


0.84 


439,451.0 


1987 


2,556.1 


466.9 


3,023.0 


755.7 


3,778.7 


0.83 


455,424.2 


1988 


2,506.4 


396.7 


2,903.1 


725.8 


3,628.9 


0.80 


454,918.0 


1989 


2,147.1 


512.5 


2,659.6 


664.9 


3,324.5 


0.71 


469,663.5 


1990 


1,679.0 


672.2 


2,351.2 


587.8 


2,938.9 


0.72 


406,906.4 



Source: Brisolla. Data from MCT-CNPa/DAD/SUP/COOE. 

1 Deflated according to general price index of the Fundacao Getulio Vargas (IGP-DMFGV) and con- 
verted to US dollars according to the average rate for 1991. 

2 Actual expenditures. 

3 Corrected for inflation and converted to JUS dollars according to the average rate for 1991 . 



The development of these activities was accompanied by the creation of a 
complex system of institutions, which are presently led by the Ministry of Sci- 
ence and Technology (MCT). MCT is formally responsible for coordinating S&T 
policy in all areas, directly or through agencies such as the National Council for 
Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and the Financing Agency for 
Studies and Projects (Finep). Besides, both MCT and CNPq have research insti- 
tutions under their jurisdiction. The Ministry of Education has a specialized 
agency to support graduate education in Brazil and abroad, the Coordination for 
High Level Manpower Education (Capes). Most states have secretaries for Sci- 
ence and Technology, and legislation providing funds for research, to be admin- 
istered in most cases by specialized agencies. The oldest and largest of these, the 
Sao Paulo's Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa (Foundation for Research Support 
— Fapesp), receives about 1 per cent of the state revenues, which in 1992 



amounted to about US$70 million, and profits from its capital investments. There 
are 10 similar agencies in other states. They are supposed to receive between 
US$180 and 320 million a year from similar arrangements (including Fapesp), 
although in practice they receive much less. 4 There is a sizeable network of sci- 
entific and professional societies publishing around 400 journals, organizing 
conferences and lobbying for their special interests and perspectives. An associa- 
tion of industrial research centers in private companies was created recently. 
Financial data are not very reliable, since there is no clear definition of what the 
figures on public expenditures in science and technology really mean. They may 
refer to administrative and financial expenditures, rather than to science and tech- 
nology as such; they may be distorted by inflation variations; and information 
about the private sector is scarce. The estimate is that, between 1981 and 1989, 
Brazil spent between about US$2-3 billion a year in science and technology 
activities, amounting to about 0.6 to 0.8 per cent of the GDP. Of this, only about 
6 per cent came from the private sector, and another 10 per cent from state-owned 
corporations (Brisolla; Coutinho & Suzigan, forthcoming; Wolff, 1991). These 
resources have been subject to high levels of instability in the last several years, 
in a context of near hyperinflation and economic stagnation. 

Impressive as some of these achievements may be, they still leave Brazil as 
a minor player in the world's scientific community (box 1). Articles by Brazilian 
authors published in the international literature are less than 1 per cent of the 
world total. In 1992 Brazil ranked twentieth among nations in scientific produc- 
tion in absolute terms, trailing China, Belgium, Israel and Denmark, and ahead of 
Poland, Finland, Austria, Norway, Taiwan and Korea (Castro, 1986; Schott). 
Links between scientific research and the productive sector are weak, and its 
impact on the quality of undergraduate and technical education is limited, a few 
significant exceptions notwithstanding. 

2. Background 

The beginning: S&T development in a period of economic expansion 

Some of Brazil's scientific institutions date from the late 19th century, and 
the National Research Council from the early 1950's. The larger part of the cur- 
rent S&T capability, however, was built during the 1968-80 years, in a period of 
military rule (Schwartzman, 1991). Three factors contributed to this rapid expan- 
sion. The concern of some military and civilian authorities with the need to build 



4 The estimate, made by the Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science (SBPC), is that in 
1991 the states were supposed to provide US$317 million for research activities, but granted only 84 
million. Figures for 1992 were 182 and 82 million. Of the total spent, about 70 per cent came from 
Fapesp (Brisolla). 



10 



up the country's S&T competence, as part of a broader project of national growth 
and self-sufficiency; the support this policy received from the scientific commu- 
nity, in spite of earlier (and often continuing) conflicts between scientists and 
academics and the government; and the economic expansion of the period, in 
which Brazil's economy grew at an annual rate of 7 to 10 per cent. Another 
important element was the improvement of the government's ability to carry out 
policies in those years, through the establishment of small, independent agencies 
outside the federal bureaucracy, and an expanding fiscal basis. 



Boxl 

Brazilian science in context 

Brazil is a scientifically small country, performing much less than 1 per cent of 
the scientific research in the world, and this attracts much less that 1 per cent of 
the citations in subsequent literature. No Brazilian scientist was among the 
nearly 3,000 mentioned as principal contributors or significant influentials in a 
survey of scientists elsewhere. Brazilian research amounted to a little less than 
half of the research performed in the rest of Latin America and about a third of 
that performed in Israel, where scientific performance was high as indicated by 
the rather frequent mentioning of Israelis as great contributors and influentials. 
In economy and population, Brazil is roughly half the size of the rest of Latin 
America, as in science. But Brazil is a whole order of magnitude larger than 
Israel in terms of the economy and even more in terms of population and yet far 
less research is performed in Brazil than in Israel. This shows that scientific 
performance in a country is not a reflection of the size of the country in terms 
of population or economy (there is only a very weak correlation with popula- 
tion and a weak correlation with the economy). These differences in scientific 
performance seem shaped by differences in institutionalization of science. 

Thomas Schott. 



The policies of the last 25 years should be seen in terms of the changes in 
Brazilian society and economy in the previous decades. Between 1950 and 1980 
Brazil turned from an agrarian into a highly urbanized society, but with high lev- 
els of social and economic inequality between regions and social groups. 
Employment in the primary sector went from 59.9 per cent of the active popula- 
tion to 29.9 per cent in those 30 years, while industrial employment went from 
14,2 per cent to 24.4 per cent; the service sector, meanwhile, went from 25.9 per 
cent to 45.7 per cent (Faria, 1986). The industrial sector developed under the pro- 
tection of tariff and non-tariff barriers that shielded national, multinational and 
state-owned companies in the Brazilian territory from international competition. 



11 



By 1970, the Brazilian industry supplied roost of the demand for manufactured 
goods in the internal market, depending only on the import of sophisticated 
machine tools, chemicals, oil and electronics. A strategic program for develop- 
ment, set by the military government in 1968, sought to overcome these limita- 
tions. The country should build its own basic industry, develop its own sources of 
energy, and absorb the latest advances in science and technology. Starting with 
the second national development plan, public corporations were created or 
expanded, subsidies were provided for the private sector, and barriers were raised 
against foreign competition, to protect the country's infant industries. Science 
and technology were perceived as a central ingredient in this strategy, and 
received unprecedented support. 

This ambitious project of scientific, technological and industrial self-suffi- 
ciency, however, did not receive more than scattered support in the productive 
sector, and remained for the most part restricted to special segments of the state 
bureaucracy and the academic community. For most firms, including the large, 
state-owned corporations, the origin of technologies used in their activities was 
less important than their cost and reliability. Restrictions to the entrance of for- 
eign technology and capital — as it happened with the computer sector in the 
eighties — were perceived as a hindrance and a burden. This difficulty was 
accentuated because there was no understanding of the effective mechanisms and 
policies leading to technological innovation in the productive sector. The need to 
strengthen the country's basic technological infrastructure metrology, normaliza- 
tion, quality control and certification received only secondary attention, at least 
until the late seventies. 



Main initiatives 

The main initiatives of this period were the following: 

(a) the university reform of 1968, with the partial adoption of the American sys- 
tem of graduate education and the reorganization of the universities in terms of 
institutes, departments and the credit system; 

(b) the placement of science and technology under the responsibility of the eco- 
nomic policy authorities, which allowed for a much higher influx of resources to 
S&T than ever before; 

(c) the creation of a new federal agency for S&T under the Ministry of Planning, 
the Financing Agency for Studies and Projects, Finep, unencumbered by civil 
service routines and restrictions, and responsible for the administration of several 
hundred million dollars a year for science and technology support (Guimaraes, 
R., 1993); 



12 



(d) the establishment of a few large-scale centers for R&D, like the Coordination 
for Graduate Programs in Engineering of the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro 
(Coppe) and the University of Campinas, geared toward technological research 
and graduate education in engineering and sciences; 

(e) the beginning of several programs of military research, such as the space pro- 
gram and the "parallel" nuclear program; 

(f) the agreement with Germany for cooperation in nuclear energy, which was to 
create an autonomous capability in the construction of nuclear reactors based on 
locally reprocessed fuel; 

(g) the establishment of a policy of protected market for the computer industry, 
telecommunications and microelectronics, linked to an emerging national private 
sector; 

(h) the formulation, by the Federal Government, of successive national plans for 
scientific and technological development; 

(i) the establishment of centers for technological research under the main state- 
owned corporations, which sought to keep up with the technological frontier, 
develop standards and transfer technology to their main suppliers; 

(j) the strengthening and expansion of Embrapa, the Brazilian Corporation of 
Agricultural Research; 

(1) the consolidation of peer review procedures in some of the main public agen- 
cies for science, technology and graduate education: CNPq, Capes and the Sao 
Paulo Foundation for Research Support (Fapesp). The main federal agency for 
science and technology development in the seventies and eighties, however, 
Finep, never introduced systematic peer review procedures although it works 
routinely with external consultants. Larger decisions of resource allocation in 
CNPq also remained usually outside peer review. 



Crisis in the eighties and nineties 

It is possible to point to several weaknesses in an otherwise successful pol- 
icy of scientific growth. Links between S&T and the productive sector remained 
weak, lacking demands for advanced technology, in an economic environment 
characterized by protectionism and reliance on cheap labor and natural resources. 
The only significant exceptions occurred in the modern, export oriented sector of 
agriculture, which benefitted from research on the introduction of new varieties, 
the control of plagues, and the biological fixation of nitrogen, with very signifi- 

13 



cant gains in productivity (Malavolta, 1986); in sectors associated with the large 
state corporations, such as telecommunications, energy, and the chemical indus- 
try; in the production of military equipment; and in the computer industry, with 
the attempt to link research with a protected industry of small computers for the 
internal market (Lucena; Tigre). In the universities, the new research and gradu- 
ate programs remained often isolated from undergraduate education and teacher 
training. The quality of the scientific institutions created and expanded in the sev- 
enties was often not very high, and peer review procedures for quality control not 
always prevailed. 

After 1980, the science and technology sector entered a period of great 
instability and uncertainty, characterized by institutional turmoil, bureaucratiza- 
tion, and budgetary uncertainty. The evolution of national expenditures for sci- 
ence and technology in the eighties, as illustrated on table 1, followed two parab- 
olas. It grew in the first years of the decade, fell in 1983 and 1984, increased 
again with the short-lived economic expansion of the Cruzado Plan in 1985 and 
1986, and fell rapidly when inflation picked up again in 1988, reaching its lowest 
levels in 1991 and 1992 (Brisolla). In 1985, the National Fund for Scientific and 
Technological Development administrated by Finep was just one fourth of its 
1979 value. This instability and uncertainty were related to economic stagnation, 
but also to an expanding arena of conflicting interests striving for public funds, 
and to an increase in political patronage (Botelho, 1990 and 1992; box 2). The 
S&T sector became one among many interest groups pressing for more 
resources, sometimes with partial success, but losing ground on the long run. The 
same pattern took place in most public universities, particularly in the federal 
system. The growing unionization of academic and administrative personnel 
allowed for significant gains in salaries, employment benefits, and participation 
in the universities' management, but stifled the institutions' ability to improve 
quality and make better use of their resources. 

The World Bank supported Program for Scientific and Technological Devel- 
opment (PADCT I, 1985, followed by PADCT II in 1990) was conceived in the 
early eighties, when the full dimension of the crisis was still to unfold. The pro- 
gram was supposed to improve the decision making capabilities of government 
and to strengthen R&D in biotechnology, chemistry and chemical engineering, 
earth sciences and mineral technology, instrumentation, physical environment 
and science education. In practice, instead of building upon a basis of existing 
resources, PADCT became often the only source of public support for the fields 
included in its priorities. Instead of improving the country's management and 
decision-making capabilities, it may have had the opposite effect, by creating an 
additional bureaucratic layer upon the existing institutions (Stemmer). Contrary 
to some claims, PADCT did not introduce peer review in Brazil, which had 
existed since the fifties. However, it may have strengthened it, since its projects 
were significantly more substantial and were submitted to more detailed analysis 
and discussion than those of CNPq. 

14 



In the early nineties, there was a trend to make science and technology more 
directly relevant to industrial competitiveness, in a new international context char- 
acterized by increased market competition and the growing relevance of science 
based industries (Guimaraes, E., 1992). A few features of this trend can be listed: 

(a) the gradual extinction of market protection for computers, telecommunica- 
tions, microelectronics and supplying industries; 

(b) the transformation of Finep into an agency dealing almost exclusively with 
the financing of industrial technology, and the gradual reduction of the National 
Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (FNDCT), its main instru- 
ment for supporting academic and basic research; 



Box 2 

What global figures do not show 

Between 1985 and 1988 the federal government budget item related to general 
administrative expenditures jumped from 4.7 per cent to 10.4 per cent of the 
total expenditures for science and technology. This change reflects an increase 
in political patronage that takes hold of Brazilian bureaucracy at the time of the 
1986 elections. At thesame time, the National Commission for Nuclear Energy 
alone absorbs 25 per cent of this item, which was a way to provide money for 
discretionary expenditures for the Brazilian nuclear program. We can add to this 
figure the capital investments in state companies in 1988, which included the 
bailing out of Nuclebra's and other items marginal to science and technology as 
such, like airport infrastructure, debt payments, and others. The total comes 
close to one third of the federal budget for science and technology. This bureau- 
cratization of science appears also in the fact that, in that year, about 25 per cent 
of the resources from the Ministry of Science and Technology were used for 
administrative activities, most of it in its central administration (excluding 
supervised institutions such as the Institute for Space Research). The remaining 
expenditures were given to applied research (33 per cent), basic research (7,7 
per cent), graduate education (8.6 percent) and fellowships (6.5 per cent). Mili- 
tary expenditures took a significant bite from the applied research item: 12 per 
cent for the old National Security Council, 8 per cent for the Armed Forces 
General Staff (Emfa), and 5 per cent for the Navy. Science and Technology 
expenditures in the Ministry of Aeronautics were classified as "basic", and 
absorbed a third of that item. 

Botelho (1990, 1992). 



15 



(c) the increasing support and stimulus for the creation of "technological parks" 
near the main universities; 

(d) the freezing, or reduction of large governmental R&D projects, such as the 
nuclear and the military aircraft programs; 

(e) the establishment of a few governmental programs to stimulate quality and 
competitiveness in industry; 

(f) the increasing concern with university managerial autonomy and accountabil- 
ity, and transparent rules for public financing to the sector. 



Box 3 

Cooperation and partnership between university and industry 

The Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Federal University of 
Santa Catarina works in three important areas - fine mechanics, new mate- 
rials and industrial automation and quality control. It has a support program 
for small and mid-size industries financed by Germany's Geselschaft fur 
Technische Zusammarbeit, in an agreement with the Program of Human 
Resources in Strategic Areas of the Ministry of Science and Technology 
and cooperates with the state's Secretary of Agriculture in the development 
of agricultural equipment prototypes, and in the development of environ- 
mentally safe agricultural technologies, which has also the support of the 

World Bank. . , 

The Department has long-term contracts for research and development with 
many industrial firms, including Embraco, Portobello, Pirelli, Weg Mannes- 
man-Demaq, Braun-Boweri, Volvo, Bosch, Eletrosul, Copesp, CNEM and 
CTA Such contracts account for about 90 per cent of the department s research 
budget Contract proposals are evaluated and priced by a permanent commis- 
sion according to their technical interest. Profits from these contracts are 
applied to a fellowship research fund for undergraduate students. There were 
234 such fellowships in 1991. 

In 1984 the Department created a Regional Center for Technology Foundation 
(Cerci), and in 1991 it began a new project for local technological development, 
Tecn6polis. Both activities have the support of the state's Federation of Indus- 
tries and of state and local governments. Cerci works as an incubator' and 
since 1987 it generated six companies, and is nursing 15 now. The State Devel- 
opment Bank of Santa Catarina opened a special line of credit to finance new 
technologically intensive companies, which receive also tax exemption or 
rebates from the state and local governments. 

Based on Maria Helena M. Castro (forthcoming). 



16 



Given the persistence of economic stagnation and political uncertainty in 
the early nineties, this new- trend could not get fully established and show its . 
effects. The reduction of FNDCT deprived many research institutions from 
institutional support and the ability to work properly and retain their best peo- 
ple. The universities suffered from budget limitations, increasing salary costs 
and the absence of incentives for performance and efficiency (Schwartzman, 
L, 1993). On the positive side, the state universities in Sao Paulo were granted 
a fixed percentage of the state's tax basis for their financing, and increased 
autonomy to manage their resources. In some places, like at the School of 
Engineering at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (box 3), the situation 
led to new experiences of cooperation and partnership among university 
departments, local and foreign governments, private firms and donors, for 
research and development and for the creation of new high technology firms 
("incubators") (Castro, M. H., forthcoming). 



3. The achievements of the seventies and the realities of the nineties 

The scientific and technological competence acquired by Brazil in the last 
decades is an important asset for its continuous drive for social and economic 
modernization. There are, however, important questions and concerns about the 
adequacy of this system of S&T, as it was organized in the seventies, to achieve 
what is expected from it Part of the difficulty lies in the persistence of the 
assumptions that presided the S&T policies in the sixties and seventies, when 
faced with the realities of the nineties; and part on the structures and vested inter- 
ests created along these years. 



The " 'endless fwntier" 

The basic assumptions that presided the development of S&T in Brazil dur- 
ing the sixties and seventies were not very different from those in the United 
States and other developed countries at the time. In both cases there was the 
notion of science as an "endless frontier", worth expanding for cultural reasons, 
for its beneficial effects in the quality of education, and for its promises in terms 
of practical applications. All fields of knowledge were equally deserving, and 
all good projects and initiatives should get public support. There were other 
resemblances: the importance given to military R&D; the notion that scientists 
should be funded by the State, free to control their institutions and distribute 
research resources according to their own criteria; and the assumption that 
social and economic benefits to society as a whole would necessarily derive 
from basic S&T in the universities and military research in government institu- 
tions (Branscomb). 



17 



Planning 

There were also important differences. Brazilians believed more in compre- 
hensive planning, and in planning for science and technology, than Americans did. 
There was, as there is still, a dire need for reliable information, and stable decision 
procedures for resource allocation and the establishment of long-term projects. The 
tradition was to try to fulfill these needs with comprehensive planning exercises, 
which could be turned into law and administered by the bureaucracy, thus making 
further decisions unnecessary. Three National Plans for Scientific and Technologi- 
cal Development were issued since the early seventies. Complex coordinating bod- 
ies (such as the Council of Science and Technology, CCT) were devised to try to 
link the research activities of different ministries. The Ministry of Science and 
Technology was created in 1985 as a response to demands from leading personali- 
ties in the scientific community, which expected it to fulfill this planning and coor- 
dinating role, making it more relevant to the country's economic and social needs. 
The notion that these links were to be achieved through centralized planning con- 
tributed to the development of large bureaucracies for S&T administration. CNPq 
and Finep increased their staff several times between the sixties and the eighties, 
and the bureaucratic apparatus of the new ministry also grew. 



Import substitution in science 

Another difference was that the development of S&T in Brazil was understood 
as part of a broader pattern of import substitution that was dominant in the economy, 
and led to barriers against foreign competition and the protection of infant indus- 
tries. Although Brazil never attempted to develop a "national science", and valued 
its access to the scientific international community, 5 the level and intensity of inter- 
national interchanges was never as intense as that of other small scientific communi- 
ties (Schott), and its research institutions and programs were seldom exposed 
directly to international standards of quality and evaluation. Considerations about 
regional inequalities and short-term needs, and political pressures for the creation of 
academic and research institutions throughout the country, led often to the weaken- 
ing in the criteria for resource allocation by the government agencies. 



Elitism in technology and education 

A final feature of the Brazilian S&T development effort has been the elitism of 
its technology and educational policy orientations, despite the political and socially 



5 There were several proposals to create a typically "Brazilian" social science, based on the country's 
peculiar historical and cultural nature, from Gilberto Freyre to Alberto Guerreiro Ramos. Nothing 
similar, however, ever existed in the natural sciences, except in applied fields such as agriculture, nat- 
ural resources and earth sciences, as shoud be expected. 



18 



progressive outlook of many of its promoters. Military technology was expected to be 
the harbinger of economic and technological modernization, leading to a dispropor- 
tionate concern in government, diplomatic and academic circles, with the interna- 
tional constraints on the transfer of sensitive technologies. The two PADCT programs 
placed strong emphasis on the higher-end, frontier technologies, with a much smaller 
place given to science education, management and diffusion. Except in the field of 
health, there were no organized efforts to bring the benefits of scientific knowledge to 
the population as a whole, or to the basis of the productive system. In spite of the ini- 
tial influence of the American Land Grant colleges, Brazilian agricultural education 
and research remained restricted to a few institutions, and geared to the capital inten- 
sive, export sector of the economy (Azevedo). The recent effort to develop indige- 
nous capability in computer science concentrated in the protection of the national 
hardware industry, rather than in the generalization of the use of the new technologies 
and competencies throughout society (Lucena; Tigre). 



Table 2 

Brazil, education figures: population of five years of age and above 



Brazil 



Women 



Rural 



Northeast 



Literacy (1990): can read and write (self-reported) 



five years and more 
10 to 14 years 
60 years and more 



76% 



56% 



77% 



53% 



70% 
32% 



Educational attainment (years completed) 



Total 

one or more 
two or more 
three or more 
four or more 
five or more 
six or more 
seven or more 
eight or more 
nine or more 
12 or more 
total (thousands) 



100% 
82% 
77% 
6S% 
59% 
41% 
33% 
29% 
25% 
18% 
6% 
113,629 



100% 

82% 
77% 
70% 



42% 
34% 
30% 
26% 
19% 
6% 
58,373 



100% 
65% 
57% 
46% 
34% 
17% 
11% 



4% 



28,011 



57% 
67% 
44% 



100% 
65% 
57% 
48% 
39% 
28% 
22% 
19% 
16% 
12% 
3% 
31,614 



Source: Fundacao IBGE, Anufoio Estatistico, 1992. 



19 



In education, Brazil tried to generalize the university research model before 
any serious attempt to deal with the problems of basic, secondary, technical and 
mass higher education. In consequence, the country has, simultaneously, some of 
the best universities and graduate programs, and one of the worst and unequal 
systems of basic education in the region. In practice, the university research 
model remained restricted to a few public universities in the Sao Paulo and in the 
federal system. Most other public institutions incorporated the institutional fea- 
tures and costs of modern universities (including full-time teaching, departmental 
organization, integrated campi, besides free tuition), without adequate mecha- 
nisms for quality assurance and the efficient use of public resources. About 65 
per cent of the students in higher education do not have access to public institu- 
tions, and attend the less prestigious, paying private institutions (Goldemberg, 
1993; Schwartzman, Durham & Goldemberg, 1993). 

Brazil had always been a highly stratified and unequal society. Even when 
the intention was there, governments had faced enormous difficulties in reaching 
the broader population with services like education, health and extension work. 
This situation should be reversed, but this does not mean that efforts to create 
good universities and competent research groups should be postponed until the 
problems of basic, technical and secondary education are solved, since these 
skills and competencies are essential for carrying on the needed transformations. 
It would be a mistake, however, to suppose that scientific, technological and edu- 
cational investments could not have had a broader impact on professional educa- 
tion and the dissemination of general and technical competence than they did. 
They can, but specific policies are needed for that. 



4. New realities 

Changes in the role of science and technology in the international scene 

The international scene for science and technology has changed dramati- 
cally since Brazil begun its drive for S&T development in the sixties. The main 
features of the new context can be described as follows: 

Science and technology are much closer to industry and markets than before 
(box 4). Industries depend, for the development of new management skills, pro- 
cesses and products, on specialized knowledge that cannot be generated any- 
more, as a matter of course, in their daily activities. The consequences have been 
an increase in R&D investments, the setting up of specialized laboratones and 
research departments, and the search for new links with universities. There is a 
renewed concern with the problems of intellectual property, which occurs in 
association with an expanded knowledge industry, carried on through licensing, 
technical assistance projects and international consulting. 



20 



Box 4 

Fundamental and economically relevant research: the new links 

In all industrial countries, governments have tended to shift, in recent years, to 
indirect .actions intended to promote the development of a trade-oriented 
research environment: legislative and regulatory measures considered to be 
obstacles to the diffusion and application of knowledge have been lined (for 
example, various anti-trust regulations were removed in the United States to 
facilitate pre-competitive research co-operation between firms); new rules were 
adopted to encourage scientists to take a more active interest in the exploitation 
of their work (for example by allowing academic research-workers and institu- 
tions to apply for patents, even when the invention had been the result of feder- 
ally sponsored programs, or by relaxing academic rules so that professors could 
participate in commercial ventures); incentives multiplied in order to promote 
science-based industrial activities (i.e. fiscal incentives, schemes to develop 
employment of scientists by firms of all types, research funding instruments for 
industry-university collaborative ventures, and so on). 

This focus has been accompanied by gradual re-direction of the public research 
support towards new types of programs, in order to channel efforts onto areas of 
greater economic relevance. This has affected all types of research activities. For 
example, institutions that have traditionally been basdons of fundamental research 
(from the CNRS in France to the National Science Foundation in the United States) 
devote more and more attention to applied research and strategic research justified 
by its economic implications. Pre-competitive research activities have multiplied to 
bring together academic and industry scientists. Certain disciplines receive 
renewed attention and expanded support, when they relate to the "sciences of the 
artificial", or "transfer sciences", ranging from mechanical and chemical engineer- 
ing to medicine and pharmacy. And economic relevance increasingly becomes an 
essential yardstick in the assessment of research proposals everywhere. 

Georges FemS. 



The pace of technical innovation and competition in industry has accelerated, 
requiring from firms a permanent capability to change its organization, absorb new 
technologies and processes and generate new products. This is leading to signifi- 
cant changes in the composition of the industrial labor force, with more emphasis, 
given to highly skilled and motivated workers at all levels, and drastic reductions in 
administrative personnel and non-qualified employees. Consequences of this accel- 
eration of the pace of technical progress and intensification of market competition 
include the growing internationalization of industries and markets and the redefini- 
tion of production lines, with specialization in some segments of the production 
chain, or in some market niches. New associations and mergers, very often with 
companies from different countries, are also prompted by the high financial costs 
of R&D and the shortened life-cycle of new products. 



21 



Box 5 

Major changes in American S&T policies 

Americans now understand that the world has radically changed. But the para- 
digms on which the post-war S&T policy consensus rests are still firmly planted 
in many people's heads, especially in Washington, and the institutions of govern- 
ment that will be needed to implement a new consensus have changed hardly at 
all. But three major changes in the US will require not only a rethinking of tech- 
nology policy, but changes in institutions and new international linkages as well: 

(a) recognition that defense priorities will no longer dominate the US federal gov- 
ernment's technology policy. Instead defense must face a drastically shrunken pro- 
duction and weapons acquisition base, will have to increase the fraction of the 
defense budget devoted to exploratory development and prototyping, even as the 
defense R&D budget decreases. Because the technologies critical to the new force 
structure will increasingly fall into areas in which commercial industry is ahead of 
defense industry, especially the information and communications technologies, 
defense agencies will have to gain access to commercial technologies. This will 
require radical change in defense acquisition policies and practices; 

(b) recognition that progress in modern, science-based engineering depends 
increasingly on a publicly-provided infrastructure of basic technical knowl- 
edge, tools, materials, and facilities. Between the realms of basic science and 
proprietary technology there lies a large domain of public good technology, 
whose value in application is clear but in which firms underinvest because of 
low appropriability of the benefits. Much of this "infrastructural technology" 
supports the creation and improvement of design and process technologies. 
Such capabilities concurrently support military, commercial, and environmen- 
tal goals. But reliance on "spin-off* from mission-oriented government R&D, 
on generation by hard pressed private investors, and on technology-forcing 
through administrative and tort law does not provide the nation with the long 
term capability to remain both a technological and economic leader. In short, 
we need a publicly supported technology base, supporting industry's capabil- 
ity to create technologies for all three areas of national need; 

(c) recognition that economic performance in a competitive world economy rests 
primarily on how well the society uses the existing base of technology, skills, and 
scientific understanding, and only secondarily, and accumulated over time, on 
annual additions to this stock of capability. It follows, then, that the government's 
technology policy must give much greater emphasis to the diffusion of technical 
knowledge and skills. The primary elements of a diffusion strategy are: aggregat- 
ing, evaluating, communicating, and absorbing non-proprietary information. The 
primary mechanisms are through education, mobility of technical personnel, and 
networks (both facilities and institutions) for promoting cooperation and sharing. 
The states, as well as federal agencies, have major responsibilities here, especially 
for industrial extension services. 

Lewis Branscomb. 



22 



Science is becoming more global. The speed, quality and low cost of inter- 
national information flows bring researchers and research sites into immediate 
contact. The spreading of technological products and processes by international 
firms disseminates similar patterns of consumption, organization and work. It is 
much easier now to have access to the international scientific community than in 
the past, and the international mobility of talented researchers was also simpli- 
fied. Simultaneously, there are increasing entrance requirements in terms of the 
standardization of scientific instruments, language and patterns of communica- 
tion, leading to new inequalities and concentration of resources and skills. 

As the economic and military importance of scientific and technological 
knowledge increases, there is a growing tendency to limit its diffusion through 
legislation on intellectual property and governmental barriers to the ; diffusion of 
"sensitive" technologies. This tendency, however, is offset by the intense interna- 
tional competition of firms and governments to sell their technologies, and by the 
lack of well-defined boundaries between academic (and therefore free) and pro- 
prietary knowledge. The net result is that the bulk of modern technology is avail- 
able for countries with the necessary pool of competence in engineering and 
basic sciences, except for a few military items that can still be controlled by the 
main powers. 

More recently, the end of the cold war is forcing the major powers into a dif- 
ficult process of downsizing their military establishments, which is altering the 
traditional association between military R&D, industrial technology and basic 
academic research. Part of these resources will move to applied fields like health, 
the environment and energy, and new associations between government, research 
institutions and private corporations are likely to emerge. In these countries, sci- 
entific innovation in the new, civilian dominated context will be likely to be 
driven by markets and short term social demands, rather than by government 
"requirements"; to be more incremental; more closely related to manufacturing 
and service; and more cost-conscious than in the previous years (box 5). 



Changes in the nature of the scientific enterprise 

The "simplest linear model" of scientific development and technological 
change is being abandoned. It assumed the existence of a pattern of fundamental 
research yielding discoveries and leading to the experimental findings of applied 
science, which allowed for acts of invention, which provided the basis of entre- 
preneurial innovation, creating new products and processes, which were later dif- 
fused by imitation and reverse engineering (David, 1992). The current view is 
much more complex. Scientific discoveries often take place in the context of 
application; there is no clear-cut distinction between basic and applied work; tacit 
knowledge and incremental improvements are more important than isolated sci- 
entific breakthroughs. One consequence of this changing perspective is that sup- 



23 



port for basic research has lost ground, when not linked to identifiable products 
and results. 

The development of new patterns of international scientific cooperation, 
with the establishment of large-scale international ventures such as the Human 
Genome Project and global research activities in the fields of meteorology, global 
warming, astrophysics, and regional cooperative projects. While traditional "big 
science" programs, such as the European Consortium for Nuclear Research 
(CERN), were characterized by large scientific installations, the recent ones tend 
to be organized in terms of extended and closely linked networks of scientists and 
research groups. For small scientific communities, the alternatives are either to 
participate in some aspects of these ventures, or to lag further behind (box 6). 



Box 6 

European cooperative projects 

Eureka projects: 

646 projects in nine areas: medical and biotechnology, communications, 

energy, environment, information technology, lasers, materials, robotics and 
production automation, transport. 

— EU 95: High Definition Television, 1986-93; budget: US$750 million. 

— EU 127: Joint European Submicron Silicon Programme, 1989-96; budget: 
US$4.6 billion. 

European community projects: 

— Framework III Programme, 1990-94; 12 member countries, precompetitive 
research; total budget, US$7.99 billion. 

— DGXII: science, research and development. Brite/Euram: industrial and 
materials technologies, plus other research programs. 

— DGXIII: information technology and communications. Race: communica- 
tion technologies; Telematics: information exchange. 

— DGIII: industry. Esprit (moved from DGXHI). 

Science, 1993. 



Because of its increasing costs, economic benefits and potential dangers, 
science and technology activities are more closely watched by society than in the 
past. Public controversies blur the frontiers between technical expertise and com- 
mon knowledge, and a host of new activities and disciplines linked to scientific 
assessment have emerged, dealing with questions like technological forecasting, 
technology assessment and the evaluation of environmental effects of innovation. 
The social sciences have acquired new relevance in this context, in the study of 



24 



__4 



the economics of science and technology, the understanding of the social pro- 
cesses of education and knowledge production, the interpretation of public con- 
troversies, and in the analysis of public policy-making related to the field of S&T. 
The traditional organization of the scientific enterprise is under criticism. 
The division of academic departments and scientific institutions along disciplin- 
ary lines is being questioned on its ability to provide the proper training and con- 
ditions for interdisciplinary research. At the same time, there are no clear alterna- 
tives to the conventional organization of teaching and education along disciplin- 
ary lines, bringing a further source of tension between teaching and research. 
Government agencies for science support are being revised and transformed. The 
links between universities, government and industry are deeply changed by new 
patterns of technical education, cooperative research and financing, generating 
new opportunities and tensions. Traditional scientific careers are perceived as 
less rewarding, prestigious and secure than in the past, while new professional 
patterns emerge. 

Changes in the nature and capabilities of the Brazilian State 

Brazil, which presented one of the world's highest rates of economic growth 
until the seventies, did not adapt to the changing international environment of the 
eighties, and entered a prolonged period of economic stagnation cum inflation 
from which it is still to recover. Different explanations are given to this fact, 
going from the exhaustion of the import substitution model that characterized the 
country's economy since the thirties, to the political and institutional inability of 
governments, since the eighties, to carry on long-term policies, in a context of 
international hardship and intense political competition for public subsidies. 
There is a clear notion, today, that the State has to reduce its size and its presence 
in the economy, while gaining competence to set and carry on long-term policies 
of economic growth, social welfare and environment protection. It is not clear, 
however, how this change should affect the S&T sector. 

This situation of instability and lack of vision affected the S&T sector in two 
important ways. The most obvious was the reduction of resources for most exist- 
ing programs, and the lack of perspectives for new projects and initiatives, even 
when international commitments, such as the loan contracts with the World Bank 
and the Interamerican Development Bank, required well defined matching funds 
according to prescribed timetables. Probably more important were the problems 
of institutional and financial instability. The Ministry of Science and Technology 
changed name and status several times, budgets allocated to R&D institutions 
oscillated, and the actual delivery of these funds depended on constant, painful 
and daily negotiations with often unsympathetic economic authorities at the 
lower ranks in the bureaucracy. Not only resources were limited, but there was no 
consensus in government, public opinion, or international agencies, about the 
importance and role of scientific research, or about matters like basic versus 

25 



applied, civilian versus military, academic versus industrial research. This insta- 
bility has been a matter of great concern, given the long time it takes for scientific 
institutions to mature, compared with the speed in which they decay in conditions 
of budgetary and institutional insecurity. In the early nineties, the state of Brazil- 
ian science and technology can be summarized by the following points. 

The federal agencies for science and technology support (Finep and CNPq) 
are very limited in their ability to grant resources for research projects. Most of 
CNPq's resources are used for fellowships, while Finep is specializing on loans 
to technology projects in the private sector. On the other hand, Sao Paulo's Foun- 
dation for Research Support (Fapesp), was preserved as an efficient and presti- 
gious institution, and even increased its share of the state's main tax revenue 
(from 0.5 to 1.0 per cent), supposedly for applied work and industrial develop- 
ment. Several other state-level research support institutions were created in the 
late eighties, but few are active and efficient. 

The administrations of some federal agencies for S&T suffer the effects of 
swelling bureaucracies, low salaries and political militancy of their employees. 
Others, on the contrary, are understaffed, and unable to hire adequate persons to 
fulfill their functions. CNPq has been particularly affected by a permanent ten- 
sion between its employees and the council's academic advisory bodies. Most 
federal research institutions, including the research institutes under CNPq, are 
paralyzed by lack of resources and incentives. 

There is no consensus about what to do with the large-scale projects of the 
past, which are in large part paralyzed by lack of resources. The military doctrine 
of technological development from the seventies seems intact within the Armed 
Forces, in spite of the current constraints. None of the large projects was discon- 
tinued — the atomic submarine, the space project (including the development of 
rockets and satellites) and the construction of military airplanes. The space 
project is moving from military to civilian control, and the government has sent a 
bill to Congress to create a Brazilian Space Agency, which would consolidate 
this transition (Cavagnari). 

Benevolent legislation allows for early retirement (at the age of about 50), 
with full benefits, of many professors in public universities and the civil service. 
About 30 per cent of current expenditures in the federal universities are used for 
retirement benefits, and this figure is growing. Lacking information, it is difficult 
to know how this is affecting the pool of active researchers, whether they are 
continuing their activities in other (and sometimes the same) institutions, and 
how they are being replaced. The general perception is that the private benefits of 
early retirement, combined with the instability and low prestige of many teaching 
and research institutions j are depleting Brazil's active scientific community. 
While this situation does not change, it is important to stimulate the retiring, 
well-qualified professors to remain productive in other roles, starting for instance 
new careers as entrepreneurs. Retirements should be used also as an opportunity 
to open the vacancies to a new generation of young academics and researchers. 

26 



Box 7 

Activities of the Ministry of Science and Technology, 1993 

1. Permanent activities carried on by MCT or with its support: 

(a) large projects involving investments in basic infrastructure; 

(b) research projects in the basic, natural and social sciences; 

(c) technology development projects in the fields of biotechnology, with 
emphasis on genetic engineering and its applications; in new materials, 
including microelectronics; in chemistry, including the synthesis of natural 
products, all with strong impact in the modernization of the productive sys- 
tem. 

2. Regional programs, like the weather and climate forecast projects for the 
Northeast and the Center-South regions. 

3. The definition of new legal and financial instruments for the S&T sector: 

(a) incentives for industrial investment in R&D; 

(b) rules for the implementation of the informatics and the Amazon Free Zone 
legislations; 

(c) utilization of resources derived from the privatization program for strategic 
projects such as the Satellite Launching Vehicle, the supercomputer of the 
National Laboratory of Computer Sciences, the National Laboratory of Syn- 
chrotron Light, the National Laboratory of Nuclear Physics, the research pro- 
gram in the Antarctic region and the survey of natural resources in Brazil's con- 
tinental shelf; 

(d) creation of the National Commission for Industrial Technological Qualifi- 
cation; 

(e) establishment of the program for software production for the international 
market; 

(f) writing and follow up of new legislation for the S&T sector: for patents, 
software, vegetal diversity, topography and integrated circuits, trade of sensi- 
tive technologies, and the creation of Brazil's space agency. 

Jose Israel Vargas (1993). 



Within these extremely adverse conditions, the Ministry of Science and 
Technology is trying to put forward some ideas and policies for the sector 
(box 7). One of its main tasks has been to assure a regular flow of budgetary and 
non budgetary resources to the sector. The proposal for the federal budget is to 



27 



obtain between US$1 billion and US$1,5 billion for the activities under the Min- 
istry of Science and Technology for 1994. The government has decided that a 
substantial part of the resources obtained through the privatization of public com- 
panies should go to the science and technology sector; and recent legislation 
granted tax benefits to firms engaged in technological development. The official 
expectation is that these two sources alone could double the resources for science 
and technology for 1994. The ministry is also engaged in continuous negotiations 
with economic authorities for the stabilization of the flux of resources to the 
agencies, and with international institutions for continuing or renewed support 
for the S&T sector. The second goal of the ministry is to continue and conclude 
some of the large projects that have already started, and are stalled for the lack of 
resources. The two most preeminent are the space and satellite program and the 
laboratory of synchrotron light. The ministry has also proposed a bill establishing 
a unified career structure for researchers and employees in federal institutions. In 
the Ministry of Education, Capes, the agency for high level manpower education 
and training, maintains a stable line of fellowships and support for graduate pro- 
grams. Some projects created during the Collor period (1990-92) to stimulate 
quality and competitiveness in the industrial sector are still in place, although 
with very little resources to go on. 



Box 8 

The internationalization of trade, business and technology 

The internationalization of trade, business and technology is here to stay. This 
means that national borders means much less than they used to regarding the 
flow of technology, at least among the nations that have made the now needed 
social investments in education and research facilities. National governments 
have been slow to recognize these new facts of life. Indeed, the last decade has 
seen a sharp increase in what has been called "techno-nationalism", policies 
launched by governments with the objective of giving their national firms a par- 
ticular edge in an area of technology. Our argument is that these policies to not 
work very well anymore. It is increasingly difficult to create new technology 
that will stay contained within national borders for very long in a world where 
technological sophistication is widespread and firms of many nationalities are 
ready to make the investment needed to exploit new generic technologies. A 
closely related observation is that a well-educated labor force, with a strong 
cadre of university trained engineers and scientists at the top, is now a require- 
ment for membership in the "convergence club". 

Nelson & Wright (1992). 



28 



5. A new policy for a global world 

In spite of the large science and technology gap between Brazil and the lead- 
ing industrial nations, there might be an opportunity for convergence that should 
not be missed. Access to international information is cheap; circulation and 
mobility of scientists are intense; technologies for products and processes are 
offered in a highly competitive international market; multinational corporations 
spread their branches and research facilities throughout their world, depending 
on local conditions. The main requirements to seize this opportunity and share 
these knowledge resources are the country's social capabilities, which are essen- 
tially a matter of education and scientific competence (Abramovitz, 1986; Nelson 
& Wright, 1992; box 8). While science and technology are becoming more inter- 
nationalized, the requirements to participate in their benefits remain local and 
national, and depend on purposeful efforts from local and national governments. 

The main thrust of this policy paper is that there is a definite need to move 
from the previous mode of scientific and technological development into a new 
one, more adequate to the current and future realities. Science and technology are 
more important than ever for Brazil, if the country is to raise the standards of liv- 
ing of its population, consolidate a modern economy, and participate as a signifi- 
cant partner in an increasingly integrated and global world. 6 The economy must 
modernize, and adjust to an internationally competitive environment. Education 
should be expanded and improved at all levels. As the economy grows and new 
technologies are introduced, new challenges will emerge in the production and 
use of energy, environment control, public health, the management of large urban 
conglomerates, and changes will occur in the composition of the labor force. 
Strong indigenous competence is necessary to participate as an equal in interna- 
tional negotiations with important political and economic consequences for Bra- 
zil, in areas such as the protection of intellectual property and rights of access to 
information, norms of environment control and the establishment of technical 
standards in international communication networks. A traditional, laissez-faire 
approach to scientific and technological development will not produce the neces- 
sary competence on the scale and quality needed for these tasks, and will not 
make them as useful as they can be. There is little place left for protected technol- 
ogies under artificial conditions, and large-scale, sophisticated and highly con- 
centrated technological projects are not likely to spin off into education and 
industrial development as a whole. Attempts to bring the whole field of science 
and technology under the aegis of centralized planning and coordination run the 



6 The term "global" conveys the notion of an interdependent world civilization, with permeable 
boundaries and no clear hegemonic centers. There is a growing literature on the global nature of mod- 
em societies. See for instance Albrow & King, 1990; Robertson, 1992; Featherstone, 1992; Waller- 
stein, 1990. 



29 



risk of stimulating large and inefficient bureaucracies, and to stifle initiative and 
creativity. 

The new policy should implement tasks that are apparently in contradiction: 
to stimulate the freedom, initiative and creativity of the researcher, while estab- 
lishing strong links between their work and the requirements of the economy, the 
educational system and of society as a whole; and to make Brazilian science and 
technology truly international, while strengthening the country's educational and 
S&T capabilities. To achieve this, the individual researcher, and their research 
unit or laboratory, should be freed from bureaucratic and administrative con- 
straints, and stimulated to look for the best opportunities and alternatives, in the 
country and abroad, for the use and improvement of his competence. This 
requires, in turn, a competitive environment based on public incentives and pri- 
vate opportunities that rewards achievement, increases the costs of complacency 
and underachievement, and gears a substantial part of the R&D resources toward 
a few important and strategic selected goals. More specifically, the new policy 
should include the following tasks: 

(a) to increase the links between academic science and the productive sector, and 
to increase the share of the latter in the national effort for scientific and techno- 
logical development, approaching the patterns of the modern, industrialized 
economies, where most of the R&D effort takes place in the productive sector. 
This requires a significant increase in private investments in R&D, not a reduc- 
tion of the already limited public funds; 

(b) to create two different "markets", one for academic science, another for 
applied technology. The academic market needs a system of rewards and incen- 
tives for scientists, appropriate ^career structures, and means to increase public 
support for science. The market for applied technology should combine the 
requirements of competence and quality with those of economic feasibility and 
social need; 

(c) to increase the links between science, technology and education, from the 
graduate programs down to technical and basic education; 

(d) to invest heavily in the development of innovative capabilities of the produc- 
tive system as a whole, through incentives, extension programs and the strength- 
ening of the country's infrastructure for basic technology; 

(e) to support a few integrated projects of clearly identified social and economic 
relevance and in need of S&T research and education, in areas such as energy, 
environment preservation and control, transportation, public health, food produc- 
tion, and in social fields such as basic education, poverty, employment and the 

30 



management of urban conglomerates (Goldcmberg, J., 1993; Skole & Tucker,. 
1993; Castro, N.A.); 

(f) to create the conditions for Brazil's participation in international programs 
dealing with global issues; 

(g) to make the government agencies for science and technology more flexible 
and bound to peer review procedures, and to stimulate research groups and insti- 
tutions to search for partnership and support from a variety of sources and 
through different procedures, beyond what governments can provide and do. 



6. Policy recommendations 

To achieve these goals, the following recommendations are made: 



To redirect the country's technology policies in line with the new economic 
realities 



Box 9 

Technology transfer: the new economic policy orientations 

Regarding the transfer of technology from abroad, it is necessary to preserve 
and consolidate the economic policy orientations introduced in the nineties, 
aimed to remove existing obstacles and restrictions affecting the main transfer 
channels — the import of capital goods, technology contracts' and foreign 
investment. It is necessary to go further regarding the use and diffusion of for- 
eign technologies incorporated in capital goods, with the liberalization of 
import mechanisms for equipment, and the reformulation of the informatics 
policy. It is also necessary to proceed with the revision of the traditional admin- 
istrative procedures for the registration of technology transfer contracts. These 
practices amounted to strong government intervention and restrictions in the 
transference process. In the same vein, policy changes in the informatics sector, 
eliminating restrictions to the presence of foreign companies and the establish- 
ment of joint-ventures, helped to remove a significant block to technological 
transfer, which was specially important because it affected precisely the indus- 
trial sectors where technical progress is more intense. 

Eduardo A. Guimaraes. 



31 



Box 10 

Recommendations about the patent law 

— Some changes, such as the concession of patents to pharmaceutical products 
and process, are unavoidable to normalize Brazil's international economic rela- 
tions. 

— The new legislation should be based on the text being negotiated within 
Gatt, as it is the case of the proposal put forward by the Interministerial Group. 
American pressures to include the patenting of life forms and the "pipeline" do 
not correspond to internationally accepted rules as yet. In addition, no short- 
term agreement of free trade with the United States is being considered, to jus- 
tify such concessions, A rapid approval of a new legislation without transition 
adjustment periods for specific industrial sectors would attend, in general 
terms, American demands. 

— Industrial property is just one policy instrument for science and technology. 
Investments in research and development, institutional environments and a 
competitive context are more important for scientific and technological devel- 
opment than patent legislation. 

— The revision of the Code of Industrial Property should not be interpreted as 
a way to attract direct foreign investment in research and development. This 
revision is required above all by the need to stabilize Brazil's international eco- 
nomic relations, specially with the United States. 

— Patents are important as an asset in the competitive strategies of firms. In 
this sense, it is important for sectors that are potentially more dynamic in terms 
of new technology generation, such as biotechnology. 

Patent legislation, in short, should not be confused with "nationalism" or "iso- 
lationism". The revision of the Code of Industrial Property is an unavoidable 
consequence of the current international scenario. 

Lia Vails Pereira. 



Technology policies are needed to make it possible for the country to enter a 
new pattern of industrial growth, centered on increasing levels of competitive- 
ness. On the short run, the policies should be geared to the reorganization and 
technological modernization of the industrial sector. Then, permanent policies 
should exist to induce the more dynamic sectors of the productive system to enter 
a continuous process of innovation and incorporation of new technologies, to fol- 
low the rhythm of technical progress in the world economy (box 9). Both 
approaches require, as the main priority, the incorporation of existing technology 
to the productive process. Sectorial policies are needed for the reorganization and 



32 



technological modernization of less efficient parts of the economy, and for the 
consolidation and expansion of the more dynamic industrial sectors. Support for 
research and development activities should be selective, and clearly associated 
with broader processes of innovation based on the transfer, diffusion and absorp- 
tion of technological competence. 



Box 11 

Financial stability and the PADCT 

Financial stability is essential for reaching results, specially for experimental 
laboratories. There is no point in granting resources to buy expensive equip- 
ment if there are no additional resources for installation, operation and mainte- 
nance, and more specifically for hiring and training technicians to operate it. 
Large time lags occurred frequently within EADCT between the arrival of 
equipment and the availability of operational resources. Difficulties to import 
equipment created absurd situations in which projects were to be carried on in 
one or two years, bat the equipment arrived two or three years later, when there 
was no money left for installation, salaries, training and operation. 
Long-term programs are needed, specially for centers of excellence. Projects 
could be approved for several years, with a firm commitment for the first year 
and additional payments pending on periodical reports, evaluations and the 
availability of resources. Each year, the researcher would submit a progress 
report and an annual budget for the following period. In theory, if resources did 
not exist, the agency would not approve the extensions. In practice, even if bud- 
gets are reduced, there will be always some resources for the maintenance of 
the most important projects. Contracts should spell out clearly that long term 
financial commitments may not be fulfilled if the agency's budget is reduced in 
the future. A substantial part of the projects should be made for the long term, 
that is, for more than three years. 

Requests for continuation and extension of existing projects should always be 
considered, even if they do not fit the terms of the bids being analyzed at the 
time. Such requests should provide a careful report about the results achieved 
with previous grants. 

Caspar E. Stemmer. 



The issue of protectionism versus market competitiveness in scientific and 
technological development should be dealt in pragmatic, rather than in ideologi- 
cal terms. It is impossible, and it would be tragic, to shield the country from the 
technological revolution that is taking place in the world. A key element of this 



33 



revolution is the role of multinational corporations and international trade in the 
development and diffusion of modern technologies, which makes the issues of 
technological development and international trade so intertwined. At the same 
time, a country should not renounce to its instruments of technological and indus- 
trial policy, including tax incentives, tariff protection, patent legislation, govern- 
ment procurement and long-term investments in technological projects, in associ- 
ation with the private sector. The aim of these policies should be always to 
improve the country's scientific and technological competence, and reap the ben- 
efits of increased efficiency, productivity and trade. In this context, adequate leg- 
islation for patents and intellectual property should be established, with the 
understanding that they are necessary for the normalization of Brazil's relations 
with the industrialized countries, although, on itself, such legislation could nei- 
ther guarantee nor jeopardize the technological advancement of Brazilian indus- 
try (box 10). 

To protect the existing pool of scientific competence 

Many of the best R&D institutions and groups are being dismantled by abso- 
lute lack of resources, and emergency measures are needed to deter this process. 
The government should guarantee a stable and predictable flux of resources to its 
main S&T agencies for their daily routines and "over the counter", peer reviewed 
research supporting activities. The problem is not just of limited resources, but 
above all of lack of institutional stability and commitment with the sector, since 
the resources needed is not very high. Special programs like the PADCT could be 
used for this purpose (box 11). 

Not only the agencies need to have their resources, but the most qualified 
research institutions and groups should be preserved in their ability to keep their 
best researchers and their work. There is a proposal being discussed for several 
years to establish a network of laboratories and research groups to be supported by 
government through long-term grants based on past performance ("laboratorios 
associados"), which requires prompt implementation. Estimates of size and cost of 
such a network vary, but the scale of the operation is not too difficult to determine. 
Of the estimated 15,000 active researchers in the country, about a third, or 5,000, 
could be included in 200 such "laboratories" of 25 persons each, supported with 
US$1 million a year in average, or US$40,000 per person, US$200 million in total. 
This would be the cost of keeping the pool of competence in place, providing a 
basis from which other policies can be devised. A similar amount will be needed to 
provide these laboratories with basic equipment and infrastructure. Most of this 
money is already being spent as salaries by universities and other government 
agencies, so that the cost of this program would be even less (although the 
resources for research and infrastructure should be provided in addition to what is 
needed for regular graduate education). Ideally, the program should compensate for 
oscillations in salaries, guarantee resources for current expenditures, and provide 



34 



means for the acquisition and modernization of scientific equipment, regardless of 
the group's institutional location. Resources should be allocated competitively, 
under strict peer review evaluation, and for limited periods (typically three to five 
years). The criteria for allocation should be the laboratories' track records, the qual- 
ity of their researchers, their ability to get funds from other sources, and their long- 
term perspectives and projects. 

This network of research laboratories should be strengthened by a specific 
line of support' for individual scientists, allowing them to move around to find the 
best places to use their competence; laboratories could be rewarded for the qual- 
ity of people they can attract. 

A competent and prestigious peer review procedure is essential for the 
project of "laborat6rios associados" to work. On the long run, difficult problems 
of choice between equally competent groups and proposals may appear, requiring 
decision procedures that go beyond traditional peer review. However, given the 
current small size of Brazil's scientific community, most competent groups are 
likely to be supported, without increasing the historical levels of expenditure. 

To develop a three-pronged policy for S&T development, with clearly 
distinguished support mechanisms for basic science, applied work and 
extension and education 

The fact that basic science, applied R&D and high level technical education 
are very often indistinguishable, and take place simultaneously in the same insti- 
tutions, does not mean that they should not be treated separately in terms of their 
supporting mechanisms, working from different perspectives and with different 
approaches. 

Basic science research and education 

Basic or academic science, broadly understood as research work that does 
not respond to short-term practical demands, remains necessary not only for its 
eventual role as the source of privileged discoveries for applied work, but 
because of its nature as an indispensable public good. Scientists should be trained 
on a broad fundamental basis, so that they will not become obsolete in a short 
time. This purpose is not in contradiction with applied work, but should not be 
jeopardized by too much emphasis on efforts to help solve short term operational 
problems of the productive sector. In spite of the growing presence of proprietary 
knowledge in modern societies, academic science is also expanding, and the 
resources it can expect from the private sector are not very high. 7 The informa- 



7 Only about 15 per cent of the resources for "public good" research in the United States comes from 
the productive sector (Aron Kupperman, private communication). 



35 



tion basic science generates is free for the private sector (although it is paid by 
society as a whole), and is the main source for the acquisition and spreading of 
the basis of tacit knowledge that permeates the whole field of science, technology 
and education. For a leading country, heavy investments in basic science can be 
thought of as problematical, since their results can be appropriated by other coun- 
tries and regions for very little cost. For the same reason, investments in basic 
science in small scientific communities can be extremely productive, since they 
allow tapping the international pool of knowledge, competence and information. 
This is the rationale for projects such as the National Laboratory of Synchrotron 
Light, now under construction by CNPq (box 12). 



Box 12 

Basic research: the Laboratory of Synchrotron Light 

The source of synchrotron light that is being built at the National Laboratory of 
Synchrotron Light (LNLS) in Campinas is a large undertaking with a strong 
interdisciplinary content. The equipment consists of an electron accelerator and 
a storage ring. Electrons circulate at high speed producing electromagnetic radi- 
ation of high intensity, covering an extensive energy band. This radiation can be 
used for different purposes, from basic research in solids, atoms, molecules and 
biological materials to different applications such as photolithography for the 
fabrication of highly integrated electronic circuitry. The light source is being 
built by a well-coordinated team of physicists, engineers and technicians, using 
many components developed in association with national companies. About 
US$11 million have been invested so far in the project. It is the first Brazilian 
experience of building and, later, operating a large physical laboratory to .be 
used by researchers from the whole country. Its success or failure will have 
important consequences regarding future decisions to go ahead with other large 
projects. The total estimated cost of the light source is US$35 million. 

Sergio Resende. 



Besides its eventual impact on the productive sector, basic science can play 
a fundamental role in enhancing the quality of higher education for engineers and 
for society as a whole. This role, however, does not take place as a matter of 
course. Universities have to develop explicit links between their graduate and 
undergraduate programs; intellectual and financial investments have to be made 
for the development of materials for science teaching, from handbooks to educa- 
tional software and experimental kits. When these links and investments exist, 
basic science becomes more legitimate, and more likely to be supported by soci- 
ety. 

36 



Changes are also necessary in scientific and graduate education. Master 
degree programs should be shortened, and turned either into well-organized 
courses of professional specialization, or short entrance and leveling programs 
leading to doctoral degrees. Non-degree, specialization courses should be 
stimulated, with very little bureaucratic formalism, and as self-supporting as 
possible. 

Globalization requires a profound rethinking of the old dilemma between 
scientific self-sufficiency and internationalization. The.experience of small, high- 
level scientific communities in countries like Canada, Israel, the Netherlands and 
Scandinavia, shows that this may be a spurious question. They build their compe- 
tence through a purposeful effort to be present in the international scientific 
scene, by the extensive use of the English language, participation in joint 
research projects, evaluation of their research activities by scientists from other 
countries, and a constant international flux of students, researchers and informa- 
tion; they are not less developed, and their science less relevant for their societ- 
ies, for that reason. 

The current fellowship programs of Capes and CNPq for studies abroad 
need to be revised. Fellowships should be awarded only to first-rate students 
going to first-rate institutions, and with a clear perspective of returning to pro- 
ductive work in Brazil. Fellowships for doctoral degrees should be combined 
with "sandwich" fellowships for doctoral students in Brazilian institutions, and 
short-term support for training periods in laboratories and companies abroad. 
Procedures should be devised to constrain the beneficiaries to pay back the 
money received if they fail to get their degrees or to return to their institutions; 
fellowships for countries and institutions with poor records of academic achieve- 
ment for fellows should be avoided. Under these conditions, the current number 
of fellowships awarded should be maintained and even expanded. The existence 
of good quality doctoral programs in a given field does not preclude the need to 
keep a permanent flux of students to the' best foreign universities. Provisions 
should exist for post-doctoral programs both abroad and in Brazil, and to bring 
top-quality scholars from other countries for extended periods, or even perma- 
nent appointments, in Brazilian university and research institutions (De Meis & 
Longo, 1990). 



Applied science 

The central feature of applied science is that it has a user, and the knowledge 
generated in the R&D process tends to be proprietary. The main clients for 
applied science in Brazil have been the military, the large state-owned corpora- 
tions and a small section of the private sector, including the export-driven agri- 
cultural firms. 

37 



Box 13 

Multi-client program in forestry research 

The Research Institute of Forestry Research (Ipef) of the School of Agriculture 
Luiz de Queiroz, Sao Paulo University, was created 25 years ago in Piracicaba, 
bringing together five private companies, Champion, Duratex, Rigesa, Indus- 
trial de Papel Leon Feffer and Madeirit, to deal with questions of common 
interest. Today, there are 23 associated companies, and the results have been 
surprisingly good. The average productivity of wood, which was around 15m 3 / 
ha/year, is now about 30m 3 /ha/year for the companies associated to Ipef. The 
institute has contributed to this increase in productivty through basic research 
and education and training of personnel for the companies. Its germ research 
center, recognized by UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, is the largest in 
the southern hemisphere in genetic materials, and commercializes about three 
tons of seeds each year, exporting to countries like Indonesia, Venezuela and 
Thailand. As an example, 300kg of seeds from Eucalyptus urophilla where sold 
recently to Indonesia, which is the country from where this species originates. 
The associated companies are located in the states of Bahia, Minas Gerais, 
Espfrito Santo, Sao Paulo, Par3, Parana\ Rio de Janeiro, Santa Catarina and Rio 
Grande do Sul. This model of association was followed by other institutions. 
Today, besides Ipef, there is the Fund for Forestry Research in Curitiba, ParanS 
(Fupef) and the Society for Forestry Investments in Vicosa, Minas Gerais (SIF). 
Research takes place also in state research institutes such as the Sao Paulo For- 
estry Institute, which sells about 23 tons of seeds yearly. 

Joao Liicio Azevedo. 



Applied R&D should be evaluated in terms of its short-term scientific qual- 
ity and medium or long-term practical results. When the client is a public institu- 
tion, such as the military or a state-owned corporation, R&D projects tend to be 
secretive, large and long-term. Evaluation is very difficult to carry on, since 
research results are not open to publication, peer review scrutiny, or market com- 
petition (Erber). Lacking appropriate evaluation procedures, applied R&D in the 
public sector runs the risk of being expensive and of doubtful quality, the same 
holding for publicly-subsidized R&D in private firms. 

There is a clear trend away from these kinds of R&D activities, however. In 
the current international context, there are limits on what smaller and poorer 
countries can do in terms of military prowess. In contrast, there is a strong pre- 
mium on the spreading of education, technical competence and competitiveness 
through society. Most public corporations are either being privatized or forced to 
rely on market mechanisms to survive. In both cases, publicly subsidized applied 
R&D will tend to diminish. The Brazilian experience of subsidized R&D to the 

38 



private sector is not very good. If loans are granted below the market interest 
rates, there may be many takers, but the outcomes are often poor. There is a 
room, however, for special procedures to finance long-term and joint R&D 
projects that would not otherwise find support through commercial banks. Gen- 
eral policies and support mechanisms for applied R&D are difficult to devise, 
since they refer to an extremely variegated range of activities, and require differ- 
ent combinations of economic, scientific and strategic considerations. A few sug- 
gestions, however, can be made: 

Research groups in universities and government institutes should be 
strongly stimulated to link to the productive system and to engage in applied 
work, while maintaining a high level of academic and basic research activities. It 
is as unwarranted to expect that all basic science should be linked to production 
as to assume that they should be kept isolated from each other. There is no reason 
to believe that applied work would necessarily distract researchers from their 
basic and academic oriented activities. However, tensions and conflicts of inter- 
est may arise, and need to be administered case by case. Links between academic 
research and the productive system can take place at multiple levels, depending 
on the capabilities and needs of each side. They can go from help in the solution 
of short-term problems and difficulties faced by industries, to the transfer and 
scaling up of innovations produced by research centers for industrial production; 
and, at the higher end, to the development of large scale, cooperative projects of 
R&D (Frischtak & Guimaraes, 1993). Links can be established either with single 
institutions or with associations and consortia of users, as in the example of the 
Institute of Forestry Research of the Universidade de Sao Paulo (box 13). 
Resources for applied work should not come from the budget for basic activities, 
but from specific sources in governmental agencies, special programs, private 
firms, and independent foundations. 

Government agencies dealing with matters requiring research work, like in 
health, education, environment, energy, communications and transportation, 
should have resources to contract research in universities and research institu- 
tions on matters of their interest. This practice should prevail over the tendency 
of these agencies to create their own research outfits, and their projects should be 
subject to joint evaluations by peer review and policy oriented authorities. 
Research institutes and centers in public agencies and state companies should be 
placed under peer oversight, and required to compete for research support outside 
their agencies. 

The current military projects should come under technical, academic and 
strategic evaluation with the participation of selected, high quality scientific 
advisers, and be either streamlined, discontinued, reduced, or converted to civil- 
ian projects (box 14). 



39 



Box 14 

Military research and competitiveness 

The goal of making Brazil a world power can only be achieved if the country 
can survive and develop in a competitive international environment, which 
depends on the non-military components of its strategic capabilities — mainly 
its scientific and technological capability. In consequence, the country's efforts 
should be directed to this goal, without giving priority, necessarily, to military 
R&D. There is no doubt that the main current military projects should be con- 
tinued until their completion, but the perspectives of military R&D regarding 
the more advanced technologies is limited, given the tendency of civilian R&D 
to administer such technological projects as efficiently as the military. 
The difficulties found in the development of military programs could be 
reduced if the development of higher end technologies is not militarized. This, 
however, does not mean that the Armed Forces should be excluded from 
research and development activities. On the contrary, they should continue to 
participate in this effort, but aware that the country's prestige, as well as the 
strengthening of its strategic capabilities, will not come only from its military 
prowess, but above all from the competitiveness the country can achieve in the 
international system. Countries that can compete will be strong. The bases for 
competitiveness are not military, in the same sense that the main roles of sci- 
ence and technology in a developed, industrialized and competitive country are 
not military, 

Geraldo L. Cavagnari. 



Research programs in applied fields like electronics, new materials, bio- 
chemistry and others, should only be established in association with identified 
partners in industry, which should contribute with their own resources, and be 
involved from the beginning in the establishment of appropriate objectives; they 
should be subject to independent evaluations of economic, managerial and scien- 
tific feasibility, and monitored on these terms. 

New actors should be brought in projects of local and regional development, 
including local and state governments, business associations, financial institu- 
tions, universities and technical schools. 

Education 

The main challenge for Brazilian science and technology in the coming 
years is to spread competence for innovation horizontally, to the productive sys- 
tem as a whole, and to increase the educational level of the population. While this 



40 



is not done, the S&T establishment is bound to relate only to a small part of the 
country and its economy, with limited resources and relevance. 



Box 15 

Human resources development in South Korea 

South Korea developed a massive effort in the fields of education, Science and 
Technology since the sixties, as part of their strategy of industrial conversion. 
Besides the sheer size of the effort, there are some strategies worth stressing, 
regarding the bridges they sought to create between the worlds of education and 
research and the world of industrial production. 
Long-term programs of institutional development. 

Universities, individual professors and research centers received support for 
five to six years long projects, time deemed necessary for the creation of groups 
of graduate students. 

Well-known scientists were dissuaded to lend their names just to fatten the cur- 
riculum of projects. Those who gave their names had to be involved. With this, 
it became easier for young scientists to take the leadership of important 
projects. 

Scientists and engineers were sent systematically to short courses abroad, in 
selected fields. Typically, their courses lasted two months, but they received 
four months fellowships. During their courses, they had to negotiate with they 
professors for training internships in European firms, to absorb technology. 
An excellent researcher had difficulties linking to the productive sector. He 
received a grant to organize monthly lunches with business leaders, to discuss 
questions related to the interaction between basic science and applied technol- 
ogy. 

C. M. Castro and J. B. Oliveira. 



Policies for science and technology should not wait for educational reform, 
but they cannot be expected to succeed without profound transformations in the 
educational system as a whole, through increased access to educational opportu- 
nities, quality improvement of basic and secondary education, strengthening of 
technical education and diversification and better use of public resources in 
higher education. Questions of educational policy lie beyond the scope of this 
document. However, a few items should be stressed regarding the interfaces 
between the educational and the S&T sectors: 

Technical education. Brazil has maintained a wide gulf between education for the 
academic professions, including engineering, and middle-level professional train- 
ing, the first provided by universities, the second by federal and state technical 



41 



r 



schools (and also by industry and commerce through their own institutions, Senai 
and Senac). The knowledge-intensive basis of modern industry and services 
requires the development of general skills for the technician, and proximity with 
industry for the institutions trying to provide technical education through formal 
course programs (box 15). Brazil has lagged behind the worldwide trend of devel- 
oping post-secondary, short-term course programs as alternatives to conventional 
university education. The expansion of post secondary, technical education, devel- 
oped with close links to industry, should become a central task for public universi- 
ties and state governments. Although more difficult at the beginning, this new 
emphasis could prove more useful than the sheer expansion of evening course pro- 
grams that became mandatory for public universities in the recent past; and more 
realistic, in budgetary terms, than the proposed multiplication of federal technical 
schools operated by the Ministry of Education. 

Extension work and continuous education. University research deparments and 
institutes should be stimulated to become more intensely involved with extension 
work and continuous education. An important activity in this regard is the sys- 
tematic translation into Portuguese or rewriting of science education textbooks 
and engineering documents (handbooks, standards, technical manuals for craft 
and skilled workers) needed for general use in industry and education. These 
activities already take place in some universities, but are usually considered of 
low prestige, and inimical to academic excellence. It does not have to be so. High 
quality research centers can attract more resources, increase their relevance and 
involve more people through extension activities. Institutions with little to offer 
in terms of research can gather strength and recognition, and provide their stu- 
dents with significant opportunities for practical training. Since most of these 
activities can be paid for by users, they do not require much in additional 
resources, but there should be means to provide rewards, incentives and recogni- 
tion for this type of work. 

Teaching of science and technology. Academic departments in universities should 
take more responsibility for undergraduate education. The current departmental 
structure tends to leave undergraduate career programs without intellectual leader- 
ship, and undergraduate teaching is often seen as a burden by professors engaged in 
graduate education and research. Incentives should be created to stimulate research- 
ers to get involved with undergraduate education, by writing textbooks, bringing 
undergraduates to their research projects, and participating in the upgrading of their 
course programs. Fellowships for undergraduates ("bolsas de iniciacao cientifica") 
should be expanded, and successful involvement in undergraduate education should 
be added as a criterion for Capes in its evaluation of graduate programs. 

General education. Most undergraduate education in Brazil, as elsewhere, is in 
fields like administration, languages, social sciences and the humanities. They 

42 



can be considered "general education" course programs, since they have little 
knowledge specificity, and are supposed to provide the students a broad spectrum 
of cultural, social and historical disciplines. There is a tendency to see these 
"soft" fields as a waste of time and resources, under the assumption that they are 
not directly relevant to the production of goods. However, general skills, social 
and cultural abilities are central components of modern economies and societies, 
characterized by intense flows of information and communication, the continu- 
ous expansion of services and a shifting social and economic environment. The 
situation of neglect should be reversed, with the graduate and research sector tak- 
ing responsibility for improving the quality of secondary and undergraduate gen- 
eral education, through direct involvement in the production of good quality text- 
books, the development of curricula and new teaching methods. Here again, ade- 
quate procedures should be devised to make these activities more rewarding and 
prestigious than they have been so far. 

Distance learning. Modern technologies for distance learning have not been 
adopted in Brazil except in some isolated experiences in basic education. A sys- 
tematic effort should be made to incorporate the international experience, and a 
few universities should be stimulated to begin pilot projects using the newly 
available instruments, from computers to electronic mail. 



Infrastructure for information and knowledge dissemination 

New and systematic procedures to incorporate technology into the industrial 
process should be developed, with strong emphasis on the development and dis- 
semination of norms and standards, information, and procedures for technologi- 
cal transfer and quality improvement. Brazil has several institutions created for 
these tasks, such as the National Institute of Metrology, the National Institute of 
Intellectual Property and the Brazilian Institute for Scientific and Technological 
Information (Ibict). These institutions, however, have lived in a no-man's-land 
between the researcher in academic institutions and the productive sector, both of 
which were either protected from external competition, or linked directly to their 
own sources of information and technology outside the country. Without closer 
interaction with the users of their services, these institutions tended to become 
rigid and bureaucratic, weakening still further their links with the scientific and 
productive sectors. 

To reduce this problem, users should play a much stronger role in the def- 
inition of the goals and practices of these institutions. A well organized and 
properly funded knowledge infrastructure is necessary to assure the easy 
access of scientists to libraries and data collections in the country and abroad. 
Significant advances have ocurred in the last few years, through the gradual 
generalization of access to Internet and similar networks for Brazilian univer- 

43 



sities and research groups, and the development of computerized library cata- 
logs in some of the main universities. Now it is necessary to make these links 
more widely used, more effective and more transparent to the individual 
researcher, and to establish means to bring the documents and data to the sci- 
entist's working place. A coherent policy for creating, maintaining and 
expanding these information resources is needed, and should rely on the com- 
petence developed by Fapesp, the National Laboratory of Computer Science 
Research (LNCC), the Institute of Applied and PuTe Mathematics (Impa), and 
other groups that have built and developed the current facilities. 

Institutional reform 

For these policies to be carried on, governmental agencies for S&T policy 
should become smaller, more flexible and more efficient. The Brazilian agen- 
cies for science and technology are considered more efficient, and less plagued 
with problems of political patronage and bureaucratic formalism, than most of 
Brazil's civil service. However, with a few exceptions, the general evaluation 
of the main government agencies is not very positive. CNPq has grown to be a 
large bureaucracy, going from 1,502 employees in 1988 to 2,527 in 1992, about 
half of them without a university degree (Barbieri; table 2). Its administrative 
expenditures have varied enormously throughout the years, and most of its 
resources are now given to fellowships. Researchers and fellows applying for 
its resources complain constantly about the difficulties in getting information 
and receiving their fellowships and grant money on time. The agency could 
never establish a competent information system about its own activities, and 
there is little or no follow-up of the results of its investments in research and 
graduate education. Finep also increased its bureaucracy to about 700 employ- 
ees, while its resources shrank (Frischtak, 1993). There are no established dates 
for submission of projects and proposals nor public announcement of awards. 
Without systematic peer review, there is no information on how decisions are 
made. In both cases, the problems were compounded by budgetary uncertain- 
ties. The agencies do not know how much money they will have at any given 
time, and their decisions are often based on expectations that are not fulfilled. 
Finally, these agencies have not established adequate procedures to receive 
proposals in constant values and protect their grants from inflation. The conse- 
quence is that, when a- project is finally approved, its value is significantly 
lower than when it was presented, and still lower when the money is received 
and spent. 



Table 3 

CNPq — Budget according to main lines of activity, 1980-92 
US$ millions of 1992 a 



Year 


Fellowships 


Grants b 


Institutes 


Administration 


Other" 


Total 


1980 


42,252.3 


23,166.3 


26,233.9 


40.598.9 


4,243.2 


136,494.6 


19S1 


46,567.7 


21,815.5 


29,557.7 


41,837.5 


2.420.1 


142,198.5 


1982 


72,396.3 


37,793.5 


34,489.4 


' 35,032.4 


2,265.8 


181,977.4 


1983 


68,137.6 


28,106.6 


26,949.6 


28,769.8 


3.194.6 


155,158.2 


1984 


61,400.8 


21,521.1 


23,092.8 


37,682.4 


5,034.5 


148,731.6 


1985 


88.153.1 


41,517.0 


33,141.5 


33,631.7 


5,212.8 


201,656.1 


1986 


94,630.1 


50,996.2 


35,497.9 


27,931.3 


7,552.3 


216,607.8 


1987 


184,069.4 


48,886.4 


57,739.4 


63,729.7 


4,416.3 


358,841.2 


1988 


238,004.4 


46,552.1 


49,322.2 


47,281.9 


4,415.3 


385,575.9 


1989 


236,143.1 


33,570.1 


85,569.2 


48,693.0 


22,732.4 


426,707.8 


1990 


178,339.5 


41,672.8 


50,529.1 


36,513.3 


14,684.5 


321,739.2 


1991 


232,440.4 


19,884.0 


30,838.3 


26,361.2 


14.907.9 


324,431.8 


1992 


193,820.4 


7,635.8 


30,655.5 


17,362.2 


10,603.2 


260.077.1 



* Compensated for inflation according to the General Price Index of FundacSo Getulio Vargas, and 
converted to dollar according to the mean exchange rates of 1992. 
b Includes special projects. 

c Includes debt service payments, fringe benefits to emplolyees (for food, nursery, and transporta- 
tion), persons working for other government agencies. 
Source: CNPq, Informe Estatfstico, Brasilia, 4(2): 13, abr. 1993. 



In contrast, Fapesp, in the state of Sao Paulo, and Capes, at the Ministry of 
Education, are perceived as success cases. Fapesp works almost exclusively 
through peer review, its administration is very small, communication with appli- 
cants is very efficient, its grants are fully corrected for inflation, and has 
well-designed follow-up procedures for its grants and fellowships (box 16). 
Capes suffers some of the difficulties of being within the Ministry of Education, 
but has an established tradition of peer review assessments. Its leadership has 
been always recruited among persons of good academic standing, and its bureau^ 
cracy remains small. 



45 



Box 16 

The Fapesp model 

The Fapesp model is characterized by three main aspects. First is the source of 
its resources. Initially, Fapesp was granted 0.5 per cent of Sao Paulo's state rev- 
enues. The 1969 state Constitution increased this legal percentage to 1 per cent, 
less 25 per cent of the trade tax (imposto de circulacao de mercadorias) which is 
transferred by the state to the municipalities; and it determined that the 
resources should be calculated each month, and transferred in the following 
month. To this basic source one should add the revenues of Fapesp's capital 
investments, which allows the agency to spend more that what it gets from the 
government in a given period. 

The second aspect is related to its relative independence from political fluctua- 
tions. Fapesp is governed by a council of 12 members with fixed six year man- 
dates, which is responsible for its administrative, scientific and patrimonial pol- 
icies. Six members are designated by the state governor, and the other six are 
also chosen by the governor from lists submitted by the state's public universi- 
ties and research institutes. The president and vice-president of the council are 
also appointed by the governor. In practice, all names are suggested to the gov- 
ernor by the scientific community. 

The third aspect is that most of the resources go to individual researchers work- 
ing in the state of Sao Paulo, and only rarely to institutions. Proposals are sub- 
mitted to Fapesp and evaluated by peers. Their identities are not known to the 
applicant, and their recommendations are almost always followed by Fapesp. 
The reviewers are requested to follow up the projects, and can recommend the 
interruption of support. 

Most Fapesp resources go to fellowships and individual grants, but in 1993 
there were 56 institutional projects with total budget of US4.5 million, plus 119 
fellowships linked to these projects. Besides, there were 94 "special projects" 
between 1963 and 1989. In 1990 they were replaced by team or thematic 
projects, 87 of which were approved by the end of 1991. 

Milton Campanario and Neusa Serra. 



These experiences provide a basis for the following suggestions for institu- 
tional reform: 

— The Ministry of Science and Technology should restrict its role to matters of 
policy, financing, assessment and evaluation, without carrying on R&D activities 
under its direct administration. Although a science adviser or an equivalent cabi- 
net-level position for science and technology is clearly necessary, the very exist- 
ence of a formal ministry of science and technology, with all its overhead costs 
and exposure to political patronage, should be reexamined. 

46 



— The existing system of federal institutions for scientific and technological sup- 
port should be evaluated in terms of its ability to perform the functions needed by 
the sector: support for basic research, support for applied projects, large and 
small research grants, fellowship and training programs, scientific information, 
norms and standards, and others. Brazil needs a federal agency to provide long 
term, sizeable grants for institutions and cooperative projects. This was the role 
played in the past by the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Devel- 
opment (FNDCT), administered by Finep. Whether these resources should be 
managed by Finep, CNPq or by a new institution should be examined as part of a 
broad review of .the roles, jurisdiction and competencies of the existing agencies. 

— Financing agencies should be organized as independent, state owned corpora- 
tions, and free of formalistic and bureaucratic constraints. They should be placed 
under strict limitations regarding the percentage of their resources they can spend 
on administration, and should be supervised by high-level councils with the par- 
ticipation of scientists, educators, entrepreneurs and government officers. They 
should rely on external advise for their decisions, and their bureaucracy should 
be limited to the minimum. 

— Research institutions and public universities should not be run as sections of 
the civil service. They need to have the flexibility to set priorities, seek resources 
from different public and private agencies, and establish their own personnel pol- 
icies. While this is not changed, there is always the alternative of developing 
hybrid institutions with flexible mechanisms coexisting with more rigid proce- 
dures (the Brazilian academic community has some experience in this). Universi- 
ties should develop appropriate settings for interdisciplinary work in new fields 
such as biotechnology and artificial intelligence (Carvalho; Silva). 

— No research institution receiving public support, and no government program 
providing grants, fellowships, institutional support or other resources to the S&T 
sector, should be exempt from clear and well-defined procedures of peer evalua- 
tion, combined, when necessary, with other types of economic and strategic 
assessments. Peer review procedures should be strengthened by the federal gov- 
ernment, made free from pressures of regional, professional and institutional 
interest groups, and acquire a strong international dimension. For instance, 
research proposals could be easily distributed to international referees through 
electronic mail. 

— It should be the task of the Ministry of Science and Technology to stimulate 
such reforms in other branches of the federal government. The Ministry of Edu- 
cation should have a particularly important role in maintaining the quality and 
the autonomy of the research groups in the federal universities. 



47 



eration with the Ministries of F ^ZZlZ^^^^ a * d 
open for international cooperation between Br azil « o g ^ 

institutions, and the ^^ *^^^^ 

International Development Bank and the UmtedNano y investment , 

have played important roles m P"^mg res ou ^J^^^ ^ 
research support and institutional development °J ^ an ^ ^ 

presence should be maintained not only because or m ' and compe . 

Lause of what they bring in term^of J^^tStaTSS* of institu- 
tence. In the future, such *^.™^%^t^ institutions and 

support, but not the interference, of governmental agencies. 

Goal-oriented projects 

The broad changes suggested in this document do not J*^^ 
of well-identified projects ^^^^fZ^^^^^ 
aimed at the strengthening of specific fields ana °" e diffusion and educa- 
social sciences, the establishment of instmments f ^J£"^ 

to. and other, ^^^^Z^^ of iTse whenever 
commissioned for this study, and wi emerge as a i m beginning 

decisions have to be made about the **^*^££a^ to develop a 

of new lines of work, and the phasing out of °^}' 1S J^^ be ^ fo c US 

Bst of main areas of established '^^^^^^la^ and 

off^emve«^^ 

special weaknesses and competencies m »« «= nrn( ,«c. 

very broad principks should preside thxs ^^^^^ would 
\ would be inappropriate to assum, ^« ?J^ «U»d 

develop and increase its ^^^PS^^eddon. The distribution 
to market mechanisms of economic and scient P ^ 

of science and technology, as it » well known^s very ^op y ^ 

and region, and J£™E~^ resources. Poli 

further txa ^^"^^^ edlKS 6 mi for bringing flexibility and 
cies are needed for general and tecnn ^ institutions of higher education, 

introducing accountability ^JJ^^g'SSS. of quality. The trend 
research and development, and for i"™mg , si h ^^ 

-ardconcentradoncanno^^^^^ 
ments in education should exist. 



48 






Box 17 

A goal-oriented project: strategic development of computer science 

The strategic development of computer science project (Desi) is supported by 
the National Research Council, through its division of special projects, and the 
United Nations Development Program, It combines research projects proposed 
by members of the scientific community with a broad project aimed to develop 
a national software industry for export and a national infrastructure for commu- 
nication and computer applications. 

The project is divided in three programs, the National Research Network 
(RNP), the multi-institutional thematic program (Protem) and the software pro- 
gram (Softex). RNP is a computational infrastructure aimed to create a network 
linking all scientific and research institutions in Brazil with each other and with 
the rest of the world. Protem was initiated by the National Research Council's 
advisory committee in computer science to create, for their field, a mechanism 
similar to those created by PADCT for other high technology fields. CNPq pro- 
vided an initial grant which led the main research centers in computer science 
to associate around subjects deemed strategic, generating more than 100 coop- 
erative projects. If carried on as planned, Protem is expected to generate a qual- 
ity jump in this field of research. Softex was created under the assumption that 
Brazil could become a significant exporter of software to the international mar- 
ket. It is supposed to provide assistance to software producers on how to gain 
competitiveness in the international market, and to establish a network of sup- 
porting groups to provide industries with advanced development technologies, 
and to link them with universities and research institutes. 
The Desi project has an estimated budget of US$27 million for three years. The 
expectation is that 13 groups for cooperation between industry and research 
institutions could be established in the most research and industrially intensive 
regions in the country. 

Extracted from Carlos J. P. Lucena. 



Brazil has had some experience of integrated programs covering specific 
areas of interest, such as tropical diseases, natural resources, energy and com- 
puter sciences. PADCT has followed a similar pattern, by choosing a few, 
selected areas for support, and assigning a given fraction of its resources to them. 
An integrated program would have, ideally, resources for combined activides of 
basic and applied research, graduate education and training. For the fields chosen 
for such programs, the benefits seem obvious, since their resources are guaran- 
teed, and the links between basic and applied research and education can be made 
more coherent (box 17). There are, however, three pitfalls for such programs, 
which should be avoided. First, they run the risk of isolation. As with any applied 

49 



project, integrated programs need to have clearly identified and active partners 
outside the research and education sector — be they the health ministry, the elec- 
tronics industry or public utility companies. In fields that are economically rele- 
vant, they should be linked to specific industrial policies, with the participation 
of relevant business leaders. When this pattern is not present, the results of the 
integrated project are not used, and the effort can be wasted. Second, there is 
always the temptation to distribute the R&D resources arbitrarily among pro- 
grams, creating unwarranted imbalances. Third, self-contained programs are 
prone to shun peer review evaluations and give excessive protection to a few 
institutions and research groups, disregarding excelence in favor of selected sub- 
jects or problems. If these difficulties are considered if there are clearly identifi- 
able partners in government and industry, if there are no arbitrary block assigna- 
tions of resources, and if peer review procedures are kept in place integrated pro- 
grams can be important and forceful instruments for improving the country's 
S&T capabilities. 

6. Conclusion 

The plurality and complexity of modern science and technology require the 
research institutions in universities, government and even the private sector to 
engage in a plurality of activities, from basic to applied science, from graduate 
education to extension work and teacher training. They should be also stimulated 
to diversify their sources of money, from government to private companies, non- 
profit foundations and paying clients and students. Specialization will take place, 
if necessary, and should grow through a combination of external incentives and 
internal drive. Scientific research and development, to remain alive, should take 
place in a highly internationalized and competitive environment for resources, 
prestige and recognition; and the leading scientists should be also entrepreneurs 
of this knowledge enterprise. 

Papers commissioned for this study 



(a) general papers: 

Branscomb, L, U.S. science and technology policy: issues for the 1990s. Lewis 
M. Branscomb, director, Science, Technology and Public Policy, Center for Sci- 
ence and International Affairs, Harvard University. 

Brisolla, S. Indicadores quantitativos de ciSncia e tecnologia no Brasil. Sandra 
Brisolla, Nucleo de Polftica Cientifica e Tecnoldgica, Universidade Estadual de 
Campinas, Sao Paulo. 

50 



Organization (presently at the World Bank). ' IntematlonaI L ^ 

FernS, G. Science & technology in the new world order. Georges Feme" Or 2an i 
zation of Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris. g 

Guimaraes, E. A. A poh'tica cientifica e tecnoldgica e as necessidade. ^ «<» 
produtivo. Eduardo Augusto Guimaraes, Institute de ^2^ £? 
versidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. «"=>inai, uni- 

Schott, T Performance, specialization and international integration of science in 

?roma S tw n " C ° mpariSOnS Wkh ° ther Latin A-ricanLntnes an" 1"! 1 
Thomas Schott, Department of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh. 

f n ^S° ff 'i E U - S * SdenCe 3nd technoI °gy Policy: the effects of a changing 
K^ST'"* EUg6ne B " Sk ° lnik0ff ' M — «* ^itutfof 

(b) basic and applied sciences: 

w?t ' Y- 15 ? 1 t Sa a g r °P ecu ^ ia ™> Brasil. Joao Lucio Azevedo, Escola de 
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Carneiro Junior, S. O estado atual e potencialidades do ensino de pds-graduacao 
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56 



Comments on "Science and Technology in Brazil' 



Michael Gibbons* 



There is much good sense in the paper under discussion this morning. The 
problems facing Brazil today and how it got there are presented clearly and plau- 
sibly. In summary, the scientific, technological and educational developments 
established in the seventies have begun to stutter. According to the paper, the rea- 
son for this is primarily economic. Brazil has fallen on hard times; economic 
growth has collapsed with the recession, inflation rocketed, and as a consequence 
most of the major institutions associated with the development of a robust 
national scientific and tehnological capability — government research establish- 
ments and universities — are in difficulty. Original policies aimed to establish 
Brazil's scientific. and technological capability no longer seem to be working. 
Links with industry are weak. Indeed industry seems to be a relatively poor per- 
former of R&D. The thrust of the paper is to develop new policies which face 
squarely the economic realities of the nineties. 

At the core of the paper are recommendations for a three-pronged S&T pol- 
icy. The basic idea is to put Brazil's scientific and technological institutions back 
on an even keel by providing separate funding mechanisms for basic research, 
applied research/technology and education. The aim is to strengthen the universi- 
ties as the prime providers of basic research and of highly qualified manpower 
while, at the same time, providing a separate flow of funds for the country's nest 
of research institutions — the so-called associated laboratory scheme. Difficul- 
ties noted include the growth of bureaucracy in the previous regime, the quality 
of the peer review system, and the reluctance of industry to support R&D out of 
its own funds. 

AH of this is plain good sense. But the three-pronged policy aimed at revital- 
ising the scientific and technological institutions of the country has a degree of 
distinctness that carries the danger of a separation amongst knowledge producing 
institutions which need to be highly interactive. One consequence of this might 
be to encourage the persistence of an essentially science-push model of economic 
regeneration. This, at precisely the time when linear models of innovation have 
been descredited and when the production of scientific and technological knowl- 
edge has become increasingly inter-connected and global. To be sure the policy 
paper does not recommend institutional separation. Indeed it recognises that pure 
and applied science now overlap. This is acknowledged in the paper: "The fact 



' Director, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex. 



57