May 22, 2022 8:00 pm

knowledge must be exported

There is no doubt that the construction of a development model that virtuously combines sustained economic growth with higher levels of social equality requires a robust policy aimed at raising and diversifying our country’s export capacity. The cyclical crises produced by the “external restriction” require, among other responses, a substantial increase in exports. However, certain biases in the export models may be insufficient to address other challenges of enormous importance, such as the creation of quality employment to improve income distribution and social inclusion or the integration of more regions of our country in the virtuous processes that creates the knowledge economy.

With this objective, it is necessary to carry out medium and long-term State policies that allow us to diversify the export matrix, steadily increasing the participation of sectors linked to industries and services that are intensive in knowledge and local technological developments. The possibility of sustaining and deepening the process of export growth in this sector, which was verified vigorously in the last year, requires an active role of the State. Important steps have been taken recently with the unanimous approval of two bills sent by the Executive. One of them (law 27,614) proposes raising the budget for science and technology from the current 0.28% of GDP to 1% in the coming years. This increase will make it possible to expand the number of researchers, projects and technology-based companies with a federal sense. The second step has been the approval of the knowledge economy bill (law 27,506), which guarantees important state contributions and tax benefits to promote private investment in R&D projects. The ministries of Science, Technology and Innovation, of Economy and Productive Development we are working so that part of these investments are awarded with a federal, exporting and productive sense, which contributes to building a national innovation system and promotes new and creative forms of public-private articulation.

At the same time, we have agreed with the Foreign Ministry to create a specific program that promotes knowledge-intensive exports. The Mincyt, together with the National Agency for the Promotion of R&D&I and the Ministry of Production, will identify technology-based companies with the capacity to compete in international markets and innovative projects with an export will, and will provide support and links with the Conicet and the system scientific-technological to achieve the objective. The Foreign Ministry will offer support through support for participation in trade missions, fairs and exhibitions and agreements with third countries and will include this issue in the promotional work carried out by our embassies. We already have 12 missions and sectoral actions of this type scheduled for the first half of 2022.

These efforts must be supported by solid training and retention policies for highly qualified researchers, technologists and specialists.. Sectors such as software, aerospace, energy transition, nanotechnology or biotechnology face serious difficulties in retaining their professionals. We run the risk of deepening a trend towards the “primarization of knowledge” and becoming international suppliers of quality professionals and missing the opportunity to export the technologies and products that these professionals can develop in the country. This problem requires comprehensive and quality public educational policies that awaken in our young people vocations and early aptitudes for science and technology and the permanent strengthening of our university and research institutions such as Conicet.

Invap is one of the most virtuous examples for its international insertion in strategic areas and for its ability to give national companies the possibility of participating in projects and incorporating cutting-edge technologies. The necessary expansion of export opportunities for our production of knowledge-based goods and services requires concerted policies and efforts among multiple actors with a view that goes beyond the situation. Only in this way will it be possible to transform the production model and the export matrix. At the same time, it will contribute to the construction of a more integrated and inclusive country that will see its capacity for sovereign decision-making increased.ß

Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Argentina

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