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SSTIArgentina, Iran Push TBED Strategies

Earlier this month, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved $750 million in financing over the next five years to Argentina's federal government for the country's Technology Innovation Program.

Argentina's R&D intensity as gauged by the ratio of R&D expenditures to GDP has increased in recent years, from 0.4 in 2003 to 0.51 in 2007. However, compared to a R&D intensity of 2.3 percent of GDP for OCED countries, Argentina lags considerably behind.

The Technological Innovation Program, an initiative of Argentina's Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation is designed to change that, primarily through three main components:
Creating four new Sector Funds for Technological Innovation in the areas of "sustainable energy, health care, agroindustry, and social sectors";
Sustaining existing initiatives to support science and technology at private companies, such as the Argentine Technological Fund and the Investigation of Science and Technology Fund); and,
Addressing research and development infrastructure needs.

A press release on Argentina's credit offer by the IDB, a development institution for Latin America and the Caribbean formed in 1959 by the Organization of American States, is available at: here.

More information on Argentina's Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, created in November 2007, is available (in Spanish) here.


With its GDP nearly tripling this decade, Iran is directing some of its new wealth to advance its TBED intentions. The Republic recently announced a 20-year comprehensive plan concentrating on the development of science and technology at its universities, and building industry-university research partnerships. The plan includes ambitious goals of increasing the number of Iran's scientists to 3,000 per million of the population (1,279 in 2007), improving R&D intensity to 4 percent of GDP (.67 percent in 2006), and increasing education investments to comprise 7 percent of GDP (4.7 percent in 2005). Note: all historical statistics are taken from here.

Identified research and education foci include nanotechnology, information technology, biotech, aerospace, energy, environment, health, water management, and transportation. The first step of implementing the plan, as reported in University World News, was the opening of a nanotechnology research center in July. Affiliated with the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad, the center is dedicated to researching the packaging of nanotechnology-based products, pest control methods, and the interchange of nanomaterials and agricultural products.

More information covering the plan in University World News is available at: here.