quarta-feira, 30 de novembro de 2011

Por que não podemos fazer como os cientistas americanos

Cientistas americanos irão expor seus trabalhos aos capitalistas, ou seja buscam investimento para suas pesquisas, mostrando que elas tem potencial de gerar negócios e lucros

Por aqui, ainda somos ingênuos e achamos que só com verbas públicas podemos fazer pesquisas e há uma desconfiança de ambos os lados - os pesquisadores que estão nas Instituições públicas desconfiam ou não confiam nos capitalistas locais que são os donos das industrias e o sistema financeiro, por outro lado, esses também não acreditam em nossa ciência. Se os capitalistas locais, donos das industrias tomassem a decisão de empregar nossos pós docs e desenvolvessem pesquisa aplicada e desenvolvimento como outros paises desenvolvidos seria a garantia de um desenvolvimento sustentável. No momento, os maior sempregador es dos nossos pós graduandos são ainda as Instituições de ensino e pesquisa, mas essa fonte de emprego tem um limite.

Está na hora do Brasil assumir que é capitalista e deixar o falso discurso de esquerda

Scientists, meet capitalists
US agencies and scientific societies aim to create jobs by teaching researchers how to be entrepreneurs.

Eugenie Samuel Reich
30 November 2011

It will be a presentation unlike any Satish Kandlikar has given before. At a meeting on 14 December, the mechanical engineer, who works at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York state, will speak to venture capitalists at Stanford University in California about a technology to cool and extend the life of light-emitting diodes. He's not raising money, but — along with 20 other researchers — he'll be playing the role of entrepreneur in front of a roomful of instructors from the business world.

The moment is also a first for the Innovation Corps (I-Corps), launched in July by the US National Science Foundation (NSF). The programme has given Kandlikar and 20 other principal investigators US$50,000 each to develop a business plan centred on their NSF-funded research. At the Stanford meeting, grant recipients will seek feedback on their ideas. Turning research into products is not a task his team has much experience with, says Kandlikar: “As researchers, we have no idea how to commercialize a product. The programme is the driving force.”

US science agencies have long encouraged their grantees to build bridges with industry. Through the Small Business Innovation Research programme, founded in 1982, the NSF, the US Department of Energy and other agencies allocate 2.5% of their grant money each year to business ventures. Many US universities also help faculty members to patent and commercialize their research.

Now, with unemployment high and cuts to federal budgets looming, science agencies want to cast themselves as part of the economic solution, rather than expensive add-ons. Across government, agencies are finding ways to link their activities to job creation. The NSF's move to encourage academics to reinvent themselves as entrepreneurs, and perhaps found firms, takes the drive to commercialize to a new level. The I-Corps is already gearing up to receive its next round of applications in January.

The approach is spreading. Concerned that US research jobs in chemistry are in decline, the American Chemical Society (ACS), based in Washington DC, has begun an entrepreneurship training programme, with a first round of applications due on 15 January. The idea is to try to get chemists to create their own opportunities.

“When my students say 'I want to get out and do something to help the world', I say basically you have to start your own company now,” says George Whitesides, a prominent Harvard University chemist who chaired a recent ACS panel to study innovation, chemistry and jobs. Whitesides was speaking on 2 November at a meeting of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in Washington DC.

But many academics are reluctant to take a chance with a start-up, says Henry Sauermann, an economist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta who has studied scientists' career choices. “Their main concern is lack of job security and stability,” he says.

Sociologist Waverly Ding at the University of Maryland, College Park, who has studied academic entrepreneurship, adds that programmes such as the I-Corps may work well for established investigators. But younger scientists have a harder time raising capital, and taking time away from research is less likely to benefit them, she says.

Sauermann believes that entrepreneurship programmes should focus on educating academics about what such choices involve. Errol Arkilic, one of three NSF programme officers organizing the I-Corps, says this is the intention. That's why the venture capitalists on hand to assess business plans at the Stanford meeting later this month will be acting as instructors, not as potential investors.

“The programme was established to help researchers understand the commercial viability of their research,” not to help them found companies and create jobs, says Arkilic — although he adds that the NSF would not be unhappy to see that as an outcome.

Kandlikar wants his work to yield economic benefits, but the effort is already taking its toll, with his group spending about 100 hours a week on its business plan. Like science, the market demands devotion.

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