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Argentina to boost investment in research, development and technological innovation with support from IDB

Loan designed to enhance businesses’ ability to do scientific and technological research and support projects undertaken by companies and public-private consortiums

Argentina will increase the productivity of its businesses by boosting investment in research, development and innovation with a loan of $150 million approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The Technological Innovation Program IV will help boost companies’ ability to innovate and generate scientific and technological knowledge. It will also enhance their skills at follow-up, assessment, articulation and spreading science, technology and innovation policies.

“The program calls for robust support of partnership programs among companies, universities and research centers with the goal of generating technological innovations with high impact in top-priority sectors such as renewable energy, health and agro-industry. It also makes resources available to consolidate the workings of the national systems for scientific and technological research,” said Pablo Angelelli, team leader of the IDB project.

This marks the fourth individual operation carried out with funds from a $750 million line of credit for investments approved in 2009 to finance Argentina’s General Program of Technological Innovation.

The new program will strengthen the business innovation capabilities through four lines of support: financing of individual companies’ innovation efforts; partnership innovation efforts, technological services and innovation with high sector and regional impact.

The initiative will also boost research and technological innovation capabilities through three complementary lines that will encourage generation of new scientific and technological knowledge and its application to the productive sector and society in general.

The program will finance development of technologies for cleaner production, creation of in-house research and development units, management of intellectual property, and technical assistance.

At the same time, it will finance projects developed by groups of companies, preferably small- and medium-sized ones, the strengthening of technological services aimed at small- and medium-size companies, and the creation of technological services centers to attend to the needs of groups of companies.

Another line of action will involve financial support for technological innovation projects developed by public-private consortiums made up of companies, research and development centers and universities.

Furthermore, the program will finance scientific and technological research projects that will support state-owned and private research institutions in the generation of new knowledge, the modernization of scientific and technological equipment and multi-disciplinary and inter-institutional research centers.

Among other expected results, the program will trigger an increase in business investment in innovation, research and development, greater production of knowledge by researchers and an increase in the amount of scientific teams managed in a collaborative fashion and in the number of multi-disciplinary knowledge products, as well as greater participation by companies.

The IDB loan is over 25 years with a 5.5 year grace period, and an interest rate pegged to the LIBOR. Local counterpart financing totals $40 million.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source oflong-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean.The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.