The president of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Dr. Roberto Salvarezza, together with the rector of the Universidad Nacional de Santiago del Estero [National University of Santiago del Estero (UNSE)], Natividad Nassif, and the director of the Research and Transference Centre of Santiago del Estero, Dr. Ana Anton, headed the inauguration of the new facilities of the CITSE (CONICET-UNSE).
The Council invested ARS $1.220.000 in the facility which will include laboratories for spectroscopy and photochemistry, molecular biology, biophysical chemistry, chromatography and catalysis, and electrochemistry. With 800 square metres distributed in two floors, this new work will enable research and development in Santiago del Estero, focused on technology transference and training of human resources in the province and in the NOA (Argentine Northwest) region.
Dr. Salvarezza stated that “this initiative not only promotes quality science but will also have an important regional impact”. Furthermore, he explained that the Research and Transference Centres (CIT) were created to cater for the needs of the region, and “encourage local developments with innovation and human resources trained to face technological challenges”.
Likewise, he remarked the importance of joint work articulated with the university, which he defined as “strategic partner”, and highlighted the involvement of researchers in transfer actions. “Nowadays, there are many young people motivated by the possibility of being able to transfer the knowledge generated from the scientific field and its impact on regional economies and on the society as a whole”, he explained.
For her part, Nassif referred to CITSE and highlighted that “it is a necessary and favorable space to do science with a social aim in order to accomplish the objectives of this centre, which is to produce knowledge for the society”. She concluded that “the development of a country is to generate opportunities for personal and collective growth, which is the result of social inclusion from knowledge”.
The director of the CITSE, Dr. Anton, spoke about the processes and the social actors involved in the creation of the centre and the construction of its building. As regards this, she remarked the joint administration CONICET-UNSE and called for this “relationship to last, develop and produce more for the good of the centre, the region and its people”.
Besides, she mentioned the growth of the centre and stated “nowadays, it has 22 researchers of CONICET, 16 of the UNSE, 8 members of the Course for Technicians and Support Staff, 4 university technicians and 32 fellows of the Council”.
In this first stage the 400 square metres ground floor was inaugurated, which is divided in two wings. The first one houses the administrative offices, common spaces, conference rooms and auditorium whereas the second wing houses 5 laboratories and 2 depots.
During the event, the president of the CONICET met the researchers, members of the Course for Technicians and Support Staff and fellows of CITSE in order to discuss different lines of research that are being developed and strategic themes for the region. Likewise, together with authorities of the Council and the UNSE he visited the facilities, the laboratories of the universities and the centre.
Dr. Salvarezza set the inauguration within the framework of CONICET’s sustained growth during the last ten years, as the product of “a national government’s decision to strengthen science and technology in the country”. Then, he added: “a decision considering a country not only for primary export but also one with the capacity to develop our own technology and face our challenges”.
The event was attended by the following authorities: the vice president of Technology Affairs of CONICET, Eng. Santiago Sacerdote and the vice president of Scientific Affairs of CONICET Dr. Mirtha Flawia; Dr. Vicente Macagno, member of the Board of CONICET and director and of CIT Jujuy; Dra. Marta Rovira, director of CIT Entre Ríos; Dr. Ricardo Farias, director of CIT Catamarca; Dr. Eduardo Charreau, president of IBYME Foundation; and Dr. Faustino Siñeriz, director of the CIT Tucumán.
From the UNSE: Dr. Carlos López, vice rector; the deans of the faculties of Agronomy and Agribusiness, Eng. José Manuel Salgado; from the faculty of Exact Sciences and Technology, Eng. Héctor Paz; from the faculty of Forestry, Dr. Víctor Acosta; from the faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Health, María Mercedes Arce; and Science and Technology Secretary, Dr. Publio Araujo.
As regards the authorities of the province of Santiago del Estero, the meeting was attended by the minister of Education, Dr. Mariela Nassif; the secretary of Development, Science, Technology and Public Administration, Juan Carlos Costas; and the managing director of Science and Technology, Eng. Edmundo Vizgarra.
Other authorities who also attended the event were the director of the Fondo Argentino Sectorial (FONARSEC), Prof. Isabel Mac Donald, the vice-director of the CITSE, Dr. Beatriz López de Mishima, members of the Advisory Board of the Centre, researchers, technicians and support staff and fellows.
Research and Transference Centres
Since 2003, with science and technology as a state policy key for the development of the country, CONICET has focused on two central themes: knowledge transference and decentralization of science. On this line, the scientific system has guided and deepened a great part of its lines of research on those strategic affairs for the development of the country.
Within this framework, CONICET and some national universities have promoted a programme for the creation of Research and Transference Centres in different parts of the country. The aim is to boost a more balanced distribution of human resources and research skills at a national level.
The first CIT created under this programme for institutional strengthening was Santiago del Estero (CITSE). It was founded through an agreement between the CONICET and the UNSE in 2012. The research and transference themes of this institution are Agricultural and Food Production, and Forestry Resources.