On Thursday afternoon (31), civil engineer Paulo Alvim assumed the position of minister of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), replacing astronaut Marcos Pontes, who has been in the position for the last three years, since the beginning of the Jair Bolsonaro government. Alvim was Secretary of Entrepreneurship and Innovations at the portfolio.
The ceremony of transfer of office took place in the auditorium of the folder, in the early afternoon. Pontes left office to contest the elections in October. He will seek a seat in the Chamber of Deputies for the state of São Paulo. In the morning, at the Planalto Palace, a ceremony led by the President marked the departure of 10 government ministers, who will contest the elections, and the inauguration of the new incumbents.
“We will only transform this country if we advance in a cohesive, integrated and convergent manner, if we advance in education, science and technology. There is no other way,” stated Alvim.
The new minister is a civil engineer graduated from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), and has a master’s degree in Information Science from the University of Brasília (UnB). He has been working in the public sector for about 40 years, and has held several positions, most focusing on science and technology. He was assistant secretary in the government of the Federal District and head of the office of the Financier of Studies and Projects (Finep), in Brasília.
Paulo Alvim has great challenges ahead, especially in relation to investments. The ministry has had its budget flattened over the past few years. The resources available for funding research grants from the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), for example, have around R$ 1.2 billion in funding this year. The value represents half of what we had in comparison with past decades.
On this topic, former minister Marcos Pontes stated, in his farewell speech, that he managed to keep all CNPq scholarships up to date. “We managed to preserve it from there,” he said.
Marcos Pontes took a long account of his management in the portfolio and highlighted the ministry’s performance during the pandemic, especially in the production and development of a 100% national vaccine. “I am proud to say that Brazil has, as of this year, independence in the production of vaccines, just the year of the bicentennial of Independence. This is something for us to celebrate and that was thanks to our scientists here in Brazil”, he said. .