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Scholarships

South Korea transmuted its economy from depending on the manufacturing industry to becoming a high-tech power, creating a transformation commitment from the government by promoting a solid research and development (R&D) ecosystem. A key component of this strategy is the provision of significant scholarships for postgraduate studies to achieve its R&D objectives. Gradually increasing its GDP in R&D, reaching, in 2019, 4,6%, one of the highest rates worldwide. The results are tangible: it occupies the top positions in the Innovation Index, which measures the intensity of R&D, patent activity and the concentration of researchers.

In this vein, neighboring Brazil has made substantial efforts to support postgraduate education through master's and doctoral scholarship programs funded by the central government with the Higher Education Personnel Training Coordination and the National Council for the Scientific and Technological Development, which have made Brazil the country líder from South America in terms of scientific publications; and, although timid compared to South Korea, its investment in R&D amounts to 1,16% of GDP, underlining the importance it gives to Science, Technology and Innovation activities.

This same pattern is observed in Australia through scholarships from the Australian Postgraduate Awards and Research Training Program, which have been crucial in maintaining its competitive advantage in various areas of knowledge, ensuring that talented people have the resources and support necessary to conduct high-level research. This is repeated in Singapore with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) from where the government offers generous scholarships for postgraduate studies in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (abbreviated STEM in English), giving rise to numerous scientific discoveries and technological advances, including a consolidated investment of 2,2% of the GDP in R&D.

When examining these experiences, in Venezuela, despite the extraordinary limitations that weigh on the country due to Unilateral Coercive Measures, from the Great Mission of Science, Technology and Innovation Dr. Humberto Fernández-Morán, a renewed call for scholarships is promoted. postgraduate studies as a means to stimulate R&D, with far-reaching implications and aimed at consolidating scientific and technological advances with quantifiable results that will underline their effectiveness.

Going deeper into the antipodes of the Bolivarian maxim, we seek to ensure that our compromises have their origin in the two most abundant sources of public fortune: wisdom and perseverance.

*The author is President of the National Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation (Oncti)

@betancourt_phd

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