Base Financing Program Takes Off At the Center for Mathematical Modelling
March 11, 2008
In a ceremony headed by President Michelle Bachelet, the Chilean Commission for Science and Technology “CONICYT”, awarded a Base Financing grant to “Fundación Ciencia para la Vida” for its Scientific and Technical Excellence.
President Bachelet expressed her conviction that this program “is a significant leap into generating knowledge within Chile’s borders, but also into expanding the world’s knowledge”.
This initiative responds to the government’s commitment to foster the country’s scientific and technological research and leverage and strengthen Scientific and Technological Centers of Excellence (STCE) that pursue research, human capital training and technology transfer as a way to boost the economy’s competitiveness and the development of Chilean society.
According to Pablo Valenzuela, President of Fundación Ciencia para la Vida, this funding is a fundamental step in the development of new projects because it “provides very important economic stability that we did not have before. We will now be able to reinforce a series of new projects and look into riskier areas that can be very relevant from a technological perspective, such as new salmon vaccine projects.”
Vivian Heyl, CONICYT’s President, noted that the funds – 9 thousand million pesos (~USD 20 million) – allocated to the Base Financing Program, mark a historic and decisive landmark in Chile’s development. “This program is of foremost importance for these centers; working in such a systematic, articulated and participative way in science and technology is exceptional in Chile’s history”.
Thirty-three projects competed for the funds, and the excellence of Fundación’s proposal, the eminence and expertise of its research group and its extensive program of international collaborations including Microsoft Research and the University of California at San Francisco, placed it among the eight STCEs in the country, along with Centro de Excelencia en Astrofísica y Tecnologías Afines; Centro de Envejecimiento y Regeneración; Centro de Investigación Oceanográfica en el Pacífico Sur-Oriental; Centro de Estudios Científicos de Valdivia, Corporación Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad; Universidad de Concepción’s Technological Development Unit, and Centro de Modelamiento Matemático.
Also in attendence at the ceremony were the Minister of Education, Yasna Provoste, the Undersecretary of Economy, Jean Jacques Duhart, CONICYT’s President Vivian Heyl, and the Directors of the eight Scientific and Technological Centers of Excellence, as well as government, academic and business leaders involved in the areas of science, technology and innovation.