The 2nd Regional Meeting of Support Foundations from Southeast Brazil (ENFASUD) was held on September 27 with the theme “Science, Technology, and Innovation: the role of Support Foundations” in the international auditorium of ENSP/FIOCRUZ. The event was organized in partnership between FIOTEC, the Euclides da Cunha Foundation (FEC), the José Bonifácio University Foundation (FUJB), Coppetec Foundation, and the Foundation to Support the Development of Scientific Computation (FACC).
The event convened 20 foundations, besides those that watched on the CONFIES TV channel. According to FIOTEC Executive Director Hayne Felipe, such meetings are a way of fostering debate to develop ways to increase their visibility and to discuss the important role of support foundations in providing services for scientific and technological development and innovation in Brazil.
The first roundtable discussed the creation of performance indicators to assess and improve the services provided by the support foundations, especially in relation to the oversight agencies. This discussion included participation by Fernando Peregrino, chairman of the National Council of Support Foundations for Institutions of Higher Learning and Scientific and Technological Research (CONFIES), Luiz Fabião Guasque, coordinator of Third Sector Organizations under the Rio de Janeiro Office of the Public Prosecutor, Felipe Almeida, director of Institutional Relations of the Rio de Janeiro Regional Accounting Board (CRC/RJ), and Ronaldo Rabello Sampaio, representing the superintendent of the Rio de Janeiro regional office of the Federal Comptroller’s Office (CGU).
According to Ronaldo Sampaio, performance indicators are an important management tool, since managing requires measuring. “I believe that indicators should be established to serve as effective tools to improve management, for management to at least approach excellence, in order for us to achieve the expected results, especially for the population, which ultimately provides our public funding and is our target public,” he explained.
For Felipe Almeida, performance indicators should be specific to each support foundation. “Each foundation needs to have its indicators aligned with its strategic planning and the projects and activities that we consider work plans to be carried out, in order to know whether the goals and targets are on the right path,” he explained.
Luiz Fabião saluted the event for having convened the support foundations to discuss issues that affect them all and the role they play in Brazil’s scientific and technological development. “The issue is to convince people that what you do is to struggle for freedom, and that this is a valid struggle because it primarily serves the public sector. What the foundations need to show is their heart, to show what they generate. I’m a longstanding fan of this work, because it’s an amazing possibility for changing the public sector with the support of the private sector. Unfortunately, this struggle has not always been easy, especially in the third sector, which is heterogeneous, so you have individual situations that the law does not cover. And that’s where it’s very difficult for you to make progress with self-regulation, to make this freedom flourish and develop properly,” the public prosecutor explained.
Internal auditor Denise Correia of the Euclides da Cunha Foundation at UFF believes that such events can strengthen support foundations to persevere with this struggle. “I participated and gave my input on the proposal for performance indicators, especially on the accounting part. Our task now is to convince the Office of the Public Prosecutor to accept these indicators,” she said.
Meanwhile, the legal advisor to the José Bonifácio University Foundation (FUJB/UFRJ), Claudio Yabrudi, believes that the institutions benefited from the meeting by exchanging information among professionals that are experiencing similar problems. “This exchange of experiences between the foundations and the opportunity to speak with the oversight agencies, representatives of the Federal Comptroller’s office, the Office of the State Public Prosecutor, with attorney Luiz Fabião, who gave a brilliant presentation, is essential for the foundations’ day-to-day activities and specific struggles,” she praised.
Positive impact for support foundations
The meeting’s second roundtable, featuring Fernando Peregrino and Rafael Marinelli, deputy coordinator of the CONFIES College of Attorneys, was a overall presentation of the main points in Executive Order 9.823/18. The law aims to establish measures to incentivize innovation and scientific and technological research in production, with a view towards technological capacity-building to achieve technological autonomy and the development of the national and regional industrial system.
“Implementation of the Legal Framework, as the law is known, is a relevant matter for us, and every researcher needs to have a full grasp of it. So, at UFRJ [Federal University of Rio de Janeiro], we are already holding seminars targeted to researchers. If we leave things the way they are, nothing will be implemented. The country’s first innovation law dates to 2004, and 12 years later we have a new law, the Legal Framework, to reaffirm what was said back then,” Peregrino recalled, stating that the new ruling will only have a real effect when the members of the support foundations themselves gain full knowledge of it, demanding enforcement of the new rules.
Imports and support foundations
The 2nd ENFASUD concluded with a roundtable featuring the technical and scientific supervisor of FUJB/UFRJ, Helena Ibiapina, and Ricardo Félix Santana, coordinator of accreditation for importation and fiscal incentives at CNPq (the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development). Hayne Felipe chaired the session that addressed the history of the creation of CNPq and its operations. CNPq is the agency that coordinates and approves imports for research activities in Brazil.
Helena Ibiapina described a specific case in which FUJB experienced difficulties with customs clearance for certain imported goods due to changes in the procedures adopted by the country’s International Revenue Service that specifically affecting the terminal at the Rio de Janeiro International Airport. According to her, FIOTEC had already encountered such problems but had found ways to solve them, which had led to a series of meetings between staff from the two foundations.
Raquel Meira of the Importation Division at FUJB saluted the presence of CNPq in a debate which she considers highly important for the growth of Brazil’s support foundations. “The proposal presented by CNPq to implement the release of goods already in the customs process was great news. This is essential for us to decrease the red tape in the customs procedures, which is our main goal today. To create new rules to replace a provision that is not enforced today in practice would not be a solution in my view. We would be creating a snowball,” she warned.
The 1st CONFIES Congress will be held on November 21-23 in Brasília. The event will be held at the FINATEC headquarters and is expected to draw professionals from more than 100 support foundations from all across Brazil. Register here.
Want to watch the 2nd ENFASUD? The video will soon be available on CONFIES TV. Stay tuned!