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About the MSI
World Bank Loan signing, June 22, 1999
The Millennium Science Initiative (MSI) was the result of a meeting held in Santiago by President Eduardo Frei Ruiz- Tagle (“Achieving the Globalization of Discovery”, June 3- 4, 1998), an event which included 12 distinguished international guests from both the public and private sectors in the area of science and technology. Among those in attendance were Dr. Kun Mo Chung, Science and Technology pioneer in Korea; Charles Simonyi, Global Scientific Director of Microsoft; Bruce Alberts, President of the United States National Academy of Science; William Stewart, Scientific Advisor to the British Government; among others. The Ministers of Science and Technology from Brazil and Argentina also participated, along with distinguished representatives from the national scientific community. All of these provided valuable contributions and decidedly supported the creation of an initiative of this nature.
As a result, the founders began to work with the World Bank and foreign consultants to elaborate a project for the implementation of the MSI in Chile, program which would be unique even in the global context.
While the MSI was being created, the official delegation of experts from the World Bank along with the Presidential Commission on Scientific Matters in September 1998 interviewed different authorities from the national academic and research community, including the Deans of Universidad de Chile and Universidad Católica de Chile; the President of the Association of Regional Universities; the President of CONICYT; the Presidents of Fundación Andes and Fundación Chile; and the Director of the MECESUP Program, among others. These authorities evaluated the Millennium Science Initiative as a valid instrument that would help to strengthen the national R&D system. At the beginning, the program received financial support from the World Bank, through a special loan for its implementation (Learning and Innovation Loan).
In January 1999, the decision was made to hand responsibility of this Program over to the Ministry of Planning of Chile (Mideplan), coupling the efforts made in this area by the Ministries of Education, Economy, Agriculture, Mining and other public and private entities.
Throughout its existence, the MSI Program has been positioned as an innovative model (See Outstanding Opinions), with very good results (See Results of the Productivity Evaluations), and recognition (See Awards and Recognitions) which has led to the replication of this model in other developing countries.
Headed up by the Inter-Ministry Committee for Innovation, the MSI Program is currently working in coordination with other institutions in the National Science, Technology and Innovation System, with the goal of strengthening its initiatives and achieving its final objective, the social and economic development of Chile.