Governmental Support on Science

Public entities clearly support science, and have increased the availability of funding in recent years.

Thursday, July 30, 2009  
Respaldo desde el Estado Respaldo desde el Estado (Photo:Corfo)

Through a well-defined policy of scientific support, various government agencies have been increasing their financial support of both students and specific projects.  The policy has extended to other areas where joint programs have grown in both size and complexity.  Furthermore, the government is investigating different tax incentive schemes to promote private investment as well as research & development.

The National Scientific and Technological Investigation Commission (Conicyt) is an important part of this process.  This governmental institution has supported the development of human capital and excellence in research for over 40 years in areas that have a high impact on domestic growth.

Conicyt also has a program that targets students pursuing postgraduate degrees in Chile and abroad, as well as, funds available for ground level research.  Between 2006 and 2009, funding increased 120% for the development of the National System of Science, Technology, and Innovation.   In 2009, the institution provided more than $250 million in research funding. 

Other funds for science and technology have also increased 54% since 2005, while investment in training and education has increase almost fivefold to $93 million.

After assuming the presidency, Michelle Bachelet turned to the National Innovation and Competitiveness Advisory Board to design a national strategy.  Together with her administration, the board mapped 11 of the most productive sectors and clusters where opportunities are expected to emerge over the coming decade.

The group also defined a strategy for human, business innovation, and science capital in order to “to accomplish tasks on time and in harmony, having as clear objective how the private sector can maximize its potential."

Another government body, the National Congress, has been discussing the formation of a new institution linked to both innovation and law.  One of its objectives would be separate the availability of resources from Chile’s annual budget.

A third crucial part of the national effort is the government economic development agency known as CORFO.  The agency includes over 50 different types of support for projects in Chile, as well as, in other parts of the world.

At the beginning of 2009, while celebrating its 70th anniversary, CORFO announced the disbursement of $700 million in credits and subsidiaries.  This includes support of over 80,000 companies, as well as, $200 million in venture capital funding.