IDB finances Mincyt headquarters, 20 science and technology centers

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is financing a science and technology complex in Argentine capital Buenos Aires, as well as the development of 20 new scientific centers and laboratories in different fields in cities across the country, IDB said in a release.

The complex will host science and technology ministry Mincyt, as well as the national agency for the promotion of science and technology.

"The bank has played an important role in the creation and consolidation of the Argentine technology fund (Fontar), which is the country's main source of financing for innovative SMEs," IDB said.

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Between 2006 and 2010, Fontar funded more than 1,500 innovation projects for SMEs in the country. According to a study by local Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, 50-70% of firms receiving Fontar support carried out innovations and improvements in products and production processes.

The bank said it also supports Mincyt's new strategy for supporting sector-oriented funds for technological innovation. "Through such funds, the ministry seeks to create solutions through research and development for critical economic issues in sectors such as agribusiness, energy, health, environment and social development," the release said.

Another major technology initiative supported by IDB is the development of satellites and remote sensing applications. Since 2006, IDB supported the national commission of space activities for two satellites that will measure soil moisture in the Pampas region. The project is expected to have direct impact on agricultural productivity and improved flood management, among others.