Public statement

In recent weeks the Minister of Economy has announced through the media the drafting of a Bill that would transfer Conicyt from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Economy. 

As an explicit request of the President of the Republic, its objective is that all public investment made in science and technology has a greater link with the productive apparatus.
Given this, as the Council of Rectors of Chilean Universities, we declare the following:

1. It is public knowledge that Science, Technology and Innovation constitute fundamental pillars for the growth and quality of life of countries, as has been shown by those who have followed this path at an international level.

2. Since its creation, CONICYT has been an effective instrument of public policy to provide Chile with a scientific, technological and human capital base; generating critical mass and human resources, both in basic science and applied science, with research support programs.

3. In 2011, the Ministry of Education proposed the creation of an Undersecretary of Higher Education including Conicyt and raising the need to design an innovation policy, shared by the Education and Economy portfolios, summoning Conicyt, Corfo, DIVESUP, universities, regional companies and agencies in the generation of an innovation ecosystem.

4. It seems to us an error that the Minister of Economy manifests a structural reform regarding the institutional framework in Science and Technology without considering the strengthening of a clear policy in this matter, and without recognizing Conicyt's virtuous link with the research system that is currently being developed. in more than a 90% in the universities of the Council of Rectors.

5. Today it is not possible to justify the transfer of CONICYT to the Economics portfolio due to the supposed favorable impact that science would have in the productive sector without addressing the complexity of the creation of knowledge in various areas, its transfer and the needs of scientific development in numerous fields of society.

6. The Council of Rectors states that Conicyt, the Council for Science and Technology, must be independent from political fluctuations and maintain its close relationship with all institutions that carry out research in Science and Technology and form the advanced human capital that the country requires. 

7. In short, we reject the measure of transferring Conicyt to the Ministry of Economy because it damages the development of science, the training of researchers and the link with the Higher Education System.

Council of Rectors of Chilean Universities