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MCTI to invest R0 million in Legal Amazon – Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation

MCTI to invest R$500 million in Legal Amazon – Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) will invest R$500 million in the development of innovative and sustainable technologies and economic activities in the region. The resources will be allocated by Pro-Amazônia, a program created by the National Scientific and Technological Development Fund (FNDCT) to articulate local initiatives and generate knowledge on the socio-biodiversity of the Amazon.

This process is managed by the MCTI’s Sub-Secretariat for Science and Technology of the Amazon (SCTA), created in 2023 to deal with Amazon issues. According to the General Coordinator of Amazon Programs and Projects at the Ministry of Trade and Investment, Eliomar Mota da Cunha, the SCTA is a strategic move by the administration to expand its operations in the legal Amazon. “The creation of the Undersecretary in this government is a guide and an articulation of the government’s general policies for the region. We already have traditional bodies, such as INPA (National Institute for Amazonian Research), the Goldi Museum and the Mamiroa Institute for Sustainable Development, but it was important for the ministry itself to have a greater official representation in the region,” said Cunha during a visit to the 76th Annual Meeting of the Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science (SBPC), which will be held from July 7 to 13 in Belém, on the campus of the Federal University of Pará (UFPA).

This year, the SPBC meeting has the theme “Science for a sustainable and inclusive future: towards a new social contract with nature”. For the coordinator, it is an opportunity for the SCTA to strengthen relations with the scientific community in the legal Amazon. “The whole world is looking to the Amazon and Belém is the gateway. Holding the SBPC here is symbolic, and for us at the SCTA, it is very important to be present at an event of this magnitude, because it shows how much responsibility we have towards science and technology here in the Amazon.

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Cassia Damiani, General Coordinator of Expression and Promotion at the General Authority for Tourism and Antiquities, explains that the main project of the administration in the region is Pró-Amazônia. “The program has four lines of action designed to highlight scientific and technological projects in the region,” explains Cassia.

The first line of Pró-Amazônia focuses on scientific and technological research infrastructure with an emphasis on the revitalization and creation of science and technology laboratories and institutes in the legal Amazon region.

The second aspect aims to support innovation projects by companies in the areas of bioeconomy, sustainable cities, decarbonization of production processes, digital transformation, forest restoration and environmental monitoring. With a value of R$ 100 million, the financing notice for this type of activity was launched on Monday (8) by MCTI, in partnership with the funder of studies and projects (Finep).

The general call for company award notifications can be accessed here: http://www.finep.gov.br/chamadas-publicas/chamadapublica/738

The third line of funding from the SCTA program goes to networked technological research and development projects, with the aim of supporting or creating advanced centers in strategic areas for sustainable development in the region. Finally, the fourth line of Pro-Amazônia aims to support international cooperation projects aimed at achieving sustainable development.

“The first line is the one most closely linked to the thematic needs discussed at the SBPC, which is the structuring and support of the infrastructure of laboratories and institutes of science, technology and innovation,” says Cassia. The coordinator reports that the program foresees an investment of R$110 million to restructure local infrastructure, in addition to R$10 million to restore the Inba Herbarium and R$20 million to restore the Goldi Museum. As part of this proposal, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Luciana Santos, announced on Monday (8), an investment of R$20 million to create the Amazon Museum in Belém.

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“Our main objective in this line 1 of the notice is to reconstitute or create institutes and laboratories of science and technology in areas outside the capitals, in the interior of the Amazon states,” explains the coordinator, who also highlights the opening of the call for proposals for companies in the bioeconomy, already open, as part of the second line of Pro-Amazônia. “We want to promote the innovation and commercial potential of companies in the region.”

The coordinator also highlighted the investment of R$150 million to create a network of researchers, as part of the third line of Pro-Amazônia. “This is very much in line with the proposal of the Ministry and the SBPC, to illustrate development, sustainability and inclusion, because it will provide activity for networked researchers, linked to projects in the legal Amazon. “It is an attempt to keep these researchers in the region, who flee due to the lack of objective conditions,” says Casilla.

“Other notifications are ready and will be issued in the coming days. These are not just promises, they have already changed, including the references.”