Following years of governmental disinterest, Argentinian researchers are greeting last year’s election of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as a turning point. In addition to establishing the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, she plans to increase science and technology investments from 0.66% of GDP to 1% of GDP by 2010. To reverse the migration of scientists, Science Minister Lino Barañao has pledged to increase the 2009 budget for competitive research grants by 40% to $210 million, which will include money to match the international grants that researchers receive. He also plans to spend $50 million on expanding infrastructure. New facilities under construction include the Polo Científico complex in Buenos Aires and a new $8 million building for the University of Buenos Aires’s Institute for Physiology, Molecular Biology and Neurosciences. Minister Barañao estimates that 850 of the country’s 5,000 researchers are “world-class” researchers.

Source: Nature

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