Undersecretary of Science participates in a session of the CRUCH Research, Science and Technology Advisory Commission


Carolina Torrealba presented the challenges and institutional advances regarding territorial and gender access gaps, mainly. The commission recognized the achievements of the management and stated that it remains attentive and critical regarding the upcoming budget discussion and improving the effective impact on sector public policies.

This Tuesday, September 1, the undersecretary of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, Carolina Torrealba, participated in the session of the Advisory Commission for Research, Science and Technology of the Council of Rectors of Chilean Universities (CRUCH). Adrián Palacios, vice-rector for Research and Innovation of the University of Valparaíso and president of this commission, explained that this conversation arose as part of the permanent working groups with the ministry, ANID and CNID, "in order to anticipate the changes and improvements that the Science and Technology system needs ”.

Palacios indicated that "universities have a lot of experience in areas of management, research and innovation, extension, with successes and failures, and we are constantly learning how to adapt, constructively but also critically, to the challenges that modernity imposes on us" . For this reason, the commission “has proposed to participate in the working groups on regional equity, gender, disciplines, job insecurity with ANID, but also in terms of data access policy, project evaluation and curriculum, among others. ”.

Commitments of the Ministry

In her speech, Undersecretary Torrealba pointed out that, when installing the ministry, it was relevant on the agenda to detect access gaps. “Our commitment is how we improve the gaps in access to scientific research, transfer, gender and territorial equality; we have a country that is absolutely centralized ”in resources and decision-making.

Torrealba admitted that in terms of gender equality, changes take time. However, he added, "we are determined that, although the changes are gradual, we can generate actions that are definitive breaking points." He added that there are more tools to address gender equity than territorial. In this second area, “discussion is very necessary; we are installing permanent conversation spaces with regional actors in the seremías ”.

On gender equality, a Road Map was defined and a Council was formed, which has representatives from the universities, to generate a participatory policy.

Regarding territorial work, the authority reported that a constant regional diagnosis has been maintained and that regional ecosystems have been strengthened as supports for decentralization. "There are territorial complexities that must be discussed and addressed," such as technology clusters. He also referred to the need to pool and pool public funds, advance in having common and cross-sectional indicators of the different instruments, and the sector's budget deficit. "We know that we have to strengthen basic research, we are in a very complex moment, but we also have complete clarity that there must be strong support for applied research and we want to leave it well installed in the ministry." In this sense, he stressed the importance of transferring sectoral funds within the ministry, since "sectoral funds tend to be reduced in contingencies."

Attentive and critical

The vice-rector Palacios commented that “we recognize the good start at the regional level with the seremías, and the progress in terms of co-construction of a regional diagnosis, in order to draw a common path; and we also recognize that we need a closer work with the CNA on accreditation and related indicators ”.

He stated that "from the commission we also make a call to encourage collaboration between universities, sharing experiences of good practices."

Regarding territorial and gender equity policies, he said that “we will be very attentive to the budget discussion in terms of maintaining the emphasis, for better access and equivalent opportunities for all members that are part of the national system of S&T and artistic creation. ”.

“We are also critical in terms of improving communication channels with the ministry and ANID; Although we are listened to, our recommendations are not always taken into account. We miss a long-term Country Strategy in Science, Technology, Innovation and Knowledge, extremely necessary to visualize the horizon where we want to go as a country. The latter should project, from the generation of knowledge, the transfer to society, the productive matrix, impacting the well-being of citizens, through better access to health, and the generation of jobs based on knowledge of high added value. , in what we can contribute as universities ”, reflected Palacios.

"Although work spaces have been opened for universities in the field of S&T in the country, this space only exists to the extent that we manage to travel it jointly with the institutions that are part of the national S&T ecosystem," he concluded.