PRESS RELEASE

WB/Argentina: Fresh Start for Productive Innovation Projects

July 8, 2016


WASHINGTON, DC, July 8, 2016 – The World Bank (WB) Board of Executive Directors approved a US$45 million additional loan today to continue promoting innovation and technological improvement, under the framework of the Argentine government strategy to boost export diversification, increase the added value of the country’s products and create quality employment.

“By way of this contribution, we will be able to strengthen the development of policies for the scientific-technological sector, with a direct impact on the country’s socio-economic profile. The additional resources will serve to broaden efforts aimed at promoting initiatives to strengthen human capital, with an eye on training, innovation and support for young entrepreneurs. Activities will be evaluated to monitor the progress and impact of these investments,” said Lino Barañao, National Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MINCyT, in Spanish).

It involves additional financing for the “Unleashing Productive Innovation Project,” which began in 2009 and is being implemented by the National Agency for the Promotion of Science and Technology (ANPCYT), which depends on the MINCyT.

In this new stage, it seeks to support new technology companies, applied research consortiums, and innovation projects in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as continuing to support the development of human capital related to technology transfer and innovation, among other activities. Moreover, it is also expected to stress the impact evaluation capacities of the agency’s various promotional instruments.

“Efforts to promote innovation as a tool to strengthen firm productivity and as an engine for growth and job-creation are vital,” said Jesko Hentschel, World Bank Director for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.,” said Jesko Hentschel, World Bank Director for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Thanks to the implementation of the original project, more than 25 technology companies were created, more than 1,000 students graduated from IT-related degrees, more than 180 tech managers and linkers were trained, the infrastructure at 49 laboratories and technology centers was improved, and more than 25 applied research consortiums (public-private and public-public) were created. More importantly, these efforts resulted in concrete improvements and innovations: new products and services have been introduced into the domestic and international markets, from biosimilars to treat cancer, to environmentally-friendly systems to raise crustaceans with a high nutrition value for the aquaculture industry, as well as rapid diagnosis devices for infectious diseases such as Chagas’.

The Project will be financed via a variable-margin US$45 million loan that includes a 32.5-year maturity period and a 7-year grace period.

To know more about the World Bank's work in Argentina, please visit: https://www.worldbank.org/argentina

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Media Contacts
In Washington
Marcela Sanchez-Bender
Tel : +1-202-473-5863
msanchezbender@worldbank.org
In Buenos Aires
Carolina Crerar
Tel : (54) 11-43169734
ccrerar@worldbank.org


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