On-line version ISSN 1678-4936
J. Venom. Anim. Toxins vol. 2 n. 1 Botucatu 1996
THE NECESSARY PARTNERSHIP
In the present decade, the developing countries will face a tremendous challenge, that is, to reconcile the need to develop their own technology to meet the demands of the next century with the scarce human and financial resources. The pace of scientific and technological progress seems to be speeding up all the time. New inventions appear making hundreds of existing devices and procedures obsolete. Thus, to keep up with such a pace, qualified personnel and well-equipped laboratories are needed, what will only be attained through constant investments.
In Brazil, skilled professionals to devise and develop high-tech projects are in the University. However, the University cannot provide the funds needed for scientific research to bring the country's technological independence. Private companies have not contributed effectively to meet the country's technological requirements, yet. Firstly, because most of the large industries are subsidiaries of multinational corporations which make investments in up-to-the minute technology in their own countries. Secondly, because Brazilian-owned small companies can not afford to make venture investments.
Hence, the best choice for Brazil is the development of a productive partnership program between the University and the non-academic public and private companies aiming to carry out basic and applied research, personnel training and technology transfer. Should such a partnership be well administered, both the partners and the society will benefit from it.
The University would benefit from collecting additional funds to support both basic and applied research, from keeping up with the latest advances in technology and from retaining the skilled professionals. The private company would benefit from conducting its research using the University's laboratories, libraries and personnel to keep up with progress at a low cost. In addition , the public company would benefit from promoting programs of social, technological, economic and strategic interest of the society. Moreover, this partnership might bring about major changes such as the emergence of spin-off industries, the generation of job opportunities, the development of skilled labor and the increase in revenue. In fact, Brazilian universities are not only intended to produce highly sophisticated technology, but also to transfer new technology, not necessarily high technology, to other areas such as crop-livestock farming, textile manufacturing, industry services, food engineering, civil engineering and public health, just to mention a few. This partnership could be carried out through distinct projects or through the setting up of laboratories of common use, which at a first stage, could be accomplished without the construction of costly technological and scientific facilities.
São Paulo State University - UNESP due to its highly qualified faculty members, well-equipped laboratories, important experimental stations and its privileged geographic distribution throughout the State of São Paulo is willing to expand the partnership already established with some non-academic private companies. The Dean's Office has already worked out a program intended to strengthen the already existing partnerships in some of the University's campi since the 1980s, mainly in crop-livestock farming. In addition, the newly-launched The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins is another good example of successful partnership among São Paulo State University and three private companies, Verbatim, Prodec and Microsoft. This has all been done preserving the University's main goals, that is, to offer high quality, tuition-free public education, to conduct high standard basic and applied research and, last but not least, to render assistance to the community.
Arthur Roquete de Macedo
Dean of São Paulo State University