Minas Gerais has a substantial research base, Dr. Portugal said. It has federal universities and four state universities with 91,322 students. Universities in the state awarded 2,850 master’s degrees and 904 doctorates in 2008. The state also has 283 private institutions conducting more than 8,500 research projects and employing 15,842 researchers. Universities spend $1.3 billion annually on R&D.
The state has invested more than $300 million in the past four years to build its innovation system, Dr. Portugal said. Its science and technology education master plan has four main goals:
• To transform knowledge into business to raise productivity and competitiveness, contributing to economic development.
• To make Minas Gerais a leader in the knowledge economy.
• To consolidate in society the perception that science, technology, and innovation are strategic areas.
• To align the actions and indictors of the science, technology, and higher-education systems.