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|  Minister Marcos Pontes Agencia Brasil says the lack of competition may affect research

| Minister Marcos Pontes Agencia Brasil says the lack of competition may affect research

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Marcos Pontes, said today (6) that the lack of public tenders could harm the country’s research production. The statement came during a public hearing in the House of Representatives, after deputies demanded from the minister a “sharper defense” of the sector.

According to Pontes, the biggest problem with his portfolio is the lack of staff. The second would be a lack of budget. “We do not have a public tender. I cannot reassign researchers. There is the National Institute of the Atlantic Forest, which has 14 researchers and half of them can retire. If they retire, the institute closes, what will I do?”, the minister said.

At the beginning of the presentation, Pontes presented aspects considered essential for the development of science, technology and innovation in the country. He noted that this is an “essential” tool for the economic and social development of any country, and that these are precisely the areas that characterize those at a more advanced stage. The Minister described the areas of work and guiding principles in his portfolio, which have been focused since the scenario reached in 2019, when he took office, and described the structures and strategies adopted in projects and programmes.

According to the minister, the budget stipulated in the budget law proposal is insufficient for the ministry’s regular funding. “Our estimated budget for this year is R$2.6 billion, with R$1 billion being earmarked for grants to the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPQ), which is essential. So we can’t move. 1.6 billion R$ remains,” he said. Looking at the National Fund for Scientific Development, he said. and technology, what was in the budget was about 600 million Brazilian reais.

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“That leaves 1 billion R$, we have 27 units attached to it. It gives, roughly, 30 or 40 million R$ per unit. There are also units like the space program, like the nuclear program, which need much more than that,” the minister added.