MONTEVIDEO –The government wants to increase the level of investment in science and technology to 1 percent of Uruguay’s gross domestic product, Vice President Raul Sendic said.
“Currently, investment is between 0.3 percent-0.4 percent of GDP and the idea is to triple that, to reach 0.9 percent-1 percent,” Sendic said at a science fair in Montevideo.
“We are talking about $550 million to $600 million that should be channeled mostly to science and technology in this (2015-2020) presidential term,” he said.
“We have a low number of researchers in the country, about one per 1,000 people, and we would need to get to at least three per 1,000,” Sendic said, noting that the ratio in South Korea is four scientific researchers for every 1,000 people.
The measure of a country’s competitiveness is not limited to “the exchange rate or labor costs,” the vice president said, but includes “the ability to add value in productive processes through knowledge and the cultivation of human capabilities.”
The fair was part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Universidad de la Republica’s Science School during National Science and Technology Week.
Sendic took advantage of the visit to chat with students and participate in experiments at the exhibition stands.