· This measure, he said, is subject to two conditions: it must not affect our macroeconomic stability and it must be approved by Congress.
· He presented the Mexican Academy of Sciences Research Award 2015.
As he headed the presentation of the Research Awards of the Mexican Academy of Sciences 2015, President Enrique Peña Nieto today announced four measures to strengthen knowledge creation and innovative development in the country. He declared that the Finance and Economy Secretariats, and CONACyT, “In the dialogue they have with the Business Coordinating Council, will be able to design a possible tax incentive scheme that will encourage private investment in research and experimental development.”
He explained that this measure will obviously be subject to two conditions: “It must not affect our macroeconomic stability and must be approved by Congress.
The president also noted that one of the measures for strengthening knowledge creation and innovative development is that the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) will continue promoting the Professorships for Young Researchers Program, in order to almost double the figure we have now to 2,000 professorships in 2018.
He said that this, “Is an innovative program that is opening opportunities for participation, particularly young researchers for them to have a position, a space for job opportunities” so that their efforts can be aimed at research centers, universities or higher education centers where they are working and undertaking their research.
The other two measures announced by the president today are:
· Scientific and technological infrastructure will continue to be expanded in order to boost regional and national development. Four new Public Research Centers on educational policies, aeronautics, metropolitan development and arid areas will be created to bring the total number of centers to 31 by 2018. We will complete another nine research consortia to raise the number to 14 by the end of this administration, which will focus on key areas of knowledge such as biomedicine, sustainability and pharmaceuticals.
· “During the National Governors’ Conference, we will instruct state governments, through the agencies established for the work of innovation, science and technology, to assign more resources to them. Today we are urging the private sector to participate more actively in investment in this issue, but we also wish to involve the governments of the various states. This is a task the government will undertake within the National Conference of Governors to expand this invitation.”
The president said that in order to encourage the creative impulse of our scientists, “The government is making efforts on a greater scale than ever before. We are doing so, among other things, by taking public investment in science, technology and innovation to record levels.”
He mentioned that in 2016, “We are spending 92 billion pesos on this category, an increase of more than 37 percent over the amount invested in 2012, when this administration began. Through this effort and investments by the private sector, it is estimated that nationwide, spending on scientific research and experimental development will reach 0.61 percent as a proportion of the Gross Domestic Product this year.”
President Peña Nieto said it is essential for government agencies, especially CONACyT to continue promoting greater synergy with the private sector.
“Nowadays, twenty-eight percent of spending on scientific research and experimental development in Mexico is financed by the private sector. However, although efforts have been made to increase this proportion, it is still below the average of most developed countries, where up to 60 percent is provided by the private sector,” he said.
He said that, “By working together, we will be able to identify, and above all, destroy the barriers that still hinder greater participation by the private sector in research and development.”
At the event, held in the Adolfo López Mateos Hall of the official residence of Los Pinos, the president presented five of the Mexican Academy of Sciences Research Prizes 2015.
He also conferred the Mexico Science and Technology Award 2015 on Dr. Andrés Moya Simarro, Scientific Director of the Center for Advanced Research in Public Health of the Ministry of Heath of the Generalitat Valenciana.
Earlier on, the president led the meeting of the General Council for Scientific Research, Technological Development and Innovation in the Manuel Ávila Camacho Hall.
MEXICO WILL REMAIN COMMITTED TO A MODEL IN WHICH THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTORS COMPLEMENT EACH AND WORK IN A HARMONIOUS, COORDINATED WAY TO CREATE INNOVATION: LUIS VIDEGARAY
Finance and Public Credit Secretary Luis Videgaray Caso, said in the preparation of the Draft Expenditure Budget for the Federation for 2017, the president has instructed priority to be given to the funds assigned to science and technology in higher education to protect their budgets.
He said that, “Today economic growth and the growth of productivity is closely linked to societies’ ability to research, to create knowledge and to apply that knowledge in improvements to everyday life and mankind’s productive capacity.”
The government understands this imperative need, he declared and therefore, since the first day of his administration, President Peña Nieto instructed research, development, technology and innovation to be a prioritized during his mandate. He said that between 2012 and 2016, the budget for science, technology and innovation has increased by 37.2 percent.
He said that this, "”Has allowed various public institutions involved in the process of knowledge creation and technological development to do things that previously did not happen, such as the new CONACyT Professorships Program, thanks to which there are 1,076 young researchers, with doctorates in various branches of scientific research, who are now working full time at Mexican academic institutions.”
Moreover, “The number of researchers in the National System of Researchers has grown from 18,554 in 2012 to 25,072 in 2016.”
He added that the number of CONACyT grant holders has also grown, from 46,881 in 2012 to 62,000 in 2016, enabling young people to be trained in science and technology, with support from the Mexican government through this institution.
“This type of support as well as the link between the public sector and the private sector, is based on the conviction that a successful innovation model must involve a joint effort by the public, academic and private sectors.” And Mexico, he said, “Will remain committed to a model in which, in order to create innovation, the public and private sectors will complement each other and work in a harmonious, coordinated fashion.”
DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THIS ADMINISTRATION, MORE FUNDS THAN EVER BEFORE HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN OUR COUNTRY: ENRIQUE CABRERO
Director General of the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), Enrique Cabrero Mendoza, said that since the establishment of this institution 45 years ago, “We have walked the path and oriented ourselves towards the knowledge society, a key element in the economic, social and political development of contemporary societies.”
He said that from his first day in office, President Peña Nieto instructed actions to be taken for Mexico to advance towards a knowledge-based society and economy. “During the first half of this administration, more resources than ever before have been assigned to science and technology in our country,” he said.
He noted that, “In Mexico, we are convinced that knowledge transforms, that knowledge must be applied and that this is how the best societies are built.” Today’s award winners are an example, he said. He declared that this ceremony is a celebration of science, which, “Recognizes the enormous scientific merit, and brings together outstanding visions and projects in various areas of knowledge, inside and outside Mexico.
He said that the Mexican Academy of Sciences, the Science Advisory Board, the Advisory Forum, “And prizes like those we are presenting today help spread knowledge and enable society to have a greater perception and appreciation and recognize the efforts of scientists, both in Mexico and Latin America.”
THE MEXICO PRIZE IS AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO MAKING THE SCIENCE UNDERTAKEN IN LATIN AMERICA MORE UNIVERSAL: ANDRÉS MOYA
The researcher who received the Mexico Science and Technology Award Andrés Moya Simarro, Scientific Director of the Center for Advanced Research in Public Health of the Ministry of Health of the Generalitat Valenciana, declared that the Mexico Award is an important contribution by our country to making the science produced in Latin America more universal.
He thanked Mexico and its government for their commitment to science and considered that its Constitution reflects its vocation for reason and progress.
He stressed that he feels very connected to the Mexican people, with whom he has established close links. “I thank the many Mexican students, colleagues and institutions dedicated to science, philosophy and humanities who have valued my scientific and intellectual work,” he said.
Awarded a prize for his outstanding research on bacterial micro-organisms, he explained that modern science has existed for over 300 years but that its development throughout the world has been extremely unequal. "We just have to visit the Royal Society or certain universities in the UK, Germany, Spain or Mexico, to realize the differences that exist in their perception of science,” he said.
He stressed that, “Mexicans and Spaniards still have a long way to go, to make society and therefore the political class emanating from it, aware that when there is an economic crisis, the best option for the social and economic future of a country is investment in science.”