strategy

Financing science and technology for development

Synonyms:
Mobilizing resources for development science and technology
Providing loans for science/technology
Context:
The concept of science and technology for development encompasses a wide range of activities. Part of these activities and the knowledge they generate can be regarded, along with capital, labour and natural resources, as inputs to sectoral development objectives. Another part of the activities cuts across many sectors and provides a common base on which all development activities can be founded. Indeed, many of the industrialized countries recognize this duality and refer to the need for government policies to support the science base as well as policies to promote technological inputs to industry, agriculture, health [etc]. The financing of these activities is itself a diverse process. It includes contributions from public and private funds, from national and international sources.

Buffeted and best with issues of survival, many developing societies, particularly the least developed, find themselves on the horns of a dilemma: how to balance investments to meet immediate short-term needs without compromising important long-term imperatives such as endogenous scientific and technological development. The crucial process of creating and strengthening the endogenous scientific and technological capacities of developing countries has not received the kind of sustained and strategic resource underpinning that could have made a difference to economic growth and development. While some countries have, in spite of resource constraints, managed to mobilize significant resources for science and technology, many others have been unable to put establish the right policy package. International support for the efforts of developing countries has also remained diffused and disparate. To illustrate, most developing countries have been unable even to mobilize 0.5% of their gross national product towards research and development (irrespective of the quality of that investment), in comparison with over 2.5% in many industrialized countries. In global terms, the share of developing countries amounted to only 6% of research and development expenditures.

Implementation:
A report prepared for the U.S. National Science Foundation indicates that publicly-financed scientific research is the most significant source of industrial innovation of all kinds. The study found that 73 percent of the main science papers cited by American industrial patents are based on domestic and foreign research financed by government or nonprofit agencies. The remainder of the research (27 per cent) is financed by private companies.

In thirty-three years of operations in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has made 167 loans for US$2,700 million to finance education, science and technology projects costing a total of $5,300 million. Some of the largest loans of 1993 for science and technology include $95 million for an Argentinian technological modernization programme and one $150 million and another $30 million loan for a science and technology programme in Mexico.

Subjects:
Resources
Finance
Credit
Military
Technology
Science
Development
Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies