N ° 24: Ministry of science, technology, knowledge and innovation

N ° 24: Ministry of science, technology, knowledge and innovation

"What the law is proposing is just a new way to manage the poverty of our science-based fiscal resources"

Last Tuesday the Senate dispatched an office to the Constitutional Court, through which it refers for its constitutional control the bill that creates the National System of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, whose institutionality is structured around three areas, in the hands of three ministries. The first, in terms of science, technology and innovation of scientific-technological base, and training of highly qualified human resources, in charge of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, and the National Agency for Research and Development. The second, related to productive promotion, entrepreneurship, productive or business innovation, technological development for productive purposes and the strengthening of human resources for this field, by the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism, and the Production Development Corporation. And finally, the training of technicians and professionals, and the knowledge and cultivation of sciences, arts and humanities in higher education institutions, in charge of the Ministry of Education.

As it is innovation, Article 31 of the project amended an old standard, Article 1 of Decree with Force of Law No. 7.912 of the Ministry of the Interior, of 1927, which organizes the Secretaries of State - known as the Law on Ministries-, adding then the numeral 21 the numerals 22 (Sport), 23 (Women and Gender Equity) and 24 (Science) Technology, Knowledge and Innovation). With this, No. 24 of the ministries already has precedence and constancy in the law that regulates them. We will already have 24 ministers (or ministers), with their respective undersecretarys, treasities, and their corresponding ministerial tax prebendas, including self-prosecutor, to the delight and control of the terms provided for in DL 799.

It is a project that began its processing on 23 January last year, which in legislative terms puts it - except for inconveniences that arise in its constitutionality control - on the podium of the fastest in terms of legislative times, because - in many - it clearly represents an urgent need for the development of the country.

And that an institutionality like this is necessary, there is no doubt. Just look at the place we have in terms of public resources that we commit by percentage as GDP expenditure, sitting at the OECD table. We are in the last place with a scrawny 0.34%, which for those in the first places (Korea and Israel) seems like a kind of public tip, because they are steeped in a guarismo that exceeds 4.5% compared to their corresponding GDP.

The problem that may happen is that the expectations of those who longed for it do not find in the creation of this institutionality the answers they expect. Several reasons can be aligned for this result. Let's look at some of them.

The first is found in a sentence attributed to Einstein. If you want different results, don't always do the same. And the truth is, the same thing is being done here. It is the creation of a ministry, a undersecretariat, ministerial regional secretariats (5 initials), a Ministerial Advisory Council for presidential appointment (ad honorem ). The creation of a National Research and Development Agency (as a personified public service); National Council for Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation for Development (14 Directors); Interministerial Committee for Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation.

As noted, it is a complex mesh of authorities, entities, people, who reproduce what exists under an ad hoc ministerial umbrella. Moreover, the staff is the same as that now exists, whose transfers to the new institutionality are in the law under the same existing civil and remuneration regime, the Administrative Statute and the deteriorated Single Scale of Salaries, with the rigidity that this entails - there will already come mobilizations that will open the door to bonds or special allocations that put this staff up to the standard of entities with particular assignments. The difference in remuneration, which partly explains the extraordinary expenditure of its installation and which is a little more than 4 billion pesos, only benefits some authorities who will see an improvement in their grades.

Another reason for a hopeless frustration I think is in the real absence of a model of citizen participation that opens the necessary spaces in the field of those who are called to formulate strategies and who have something to say in areas of innovation, development, research and knowledge. It seems curious that those who have today built a real mesh of innovative entrepreneurship (from innovative entrepreneurs, innovation financiers, state-of-the-art research centers, universities, and so many others) are not recognized as actors for the implementation of public policies in these matters, except for the discretionary decision that the authority wants to attribute to them in the act of the corresponding nomination in some of the schools or commissions that are created.

Finally, there's something that's spinal. The law does not commit more fiscal spending to the development of what it wants to promote. That is, the structure of the available funds is also not carried to a basal condition. It is not necessary to infer from this law that our fiscal guarismo has a significant increase in innovation spending relative to GDP. What the law is proposing to us is only a new way of managing the poverty of our fiscal resources in science, technology, knowledge, innovation, research and development, without the needs that the new resources that, by simple will, can be used for these purposes are spent on this, since now, in addition, they will have to finance the complex institutional matrix that has been created.