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A well equipped and in-order house

The restoration and modernization of the laboratories has made front line research possible

When in 1994 FAPESP decided to create the Emergency Program of Support for the Recovery and Modernization of Research Infrastructure in the State of São Paulo, or more simply the Infrastructure Program, the justification was based on the consensus that the rusting of research installations of the state at that time, thwarted the normal development of the activity. Or to put it another way, even having financial resources for research projects, the lack of equipment and mainly the inadequacies of the laboratories would make results impracticable or even jeopardize them. Consequently, the restoration and modernization of the laboratories were given absolute priority right from the beginning of the program in 1995. Of the total of R$500 million invested by FAPESP in the Infra-Structure Program, R$244 million went directly to the laboratories through the modules General Infra-Structure and Research Animal Breeding Units. The remainder went on the other sectors of the program: Libraries, Archives, Museums, Local Computers Networks, Multi-use Equipment and FAP-books.

“To create the Infra-Structure Program, FAPESP broke with a paradigm: that the agencies involved in research development should not worry about the infra-structure, which would be the responsibility of the universities and institutions”, says Jailson Bittencourt de Andrade, pro-rector of research and post-graduation at the Federal University of Bahia and who accompanied, as a consultant, the program right from the beginning. He also emphasized the point that “with this program, the infra-structure was recognized as part of the normal research activity.”

It is still too early to measure the impact of the Infra-Structure Program on scientific and technological research in the State of São Paulo, but there are already a number of visible results, both in research volume and quality. In this supplement, the third of a series on the Program published by the magazine Pesquisa FAPESP, we are going to point out the transformations that have occurred in the laboratories in the areas of Agricultural Sciences, Biological Sciences and Health. The reporting is by Cely Carmo, Lara Lima and Maria Aparecida Medeiros, the editing by Luiz Fernando Vitral and Maria da Graça Mascarenhas and the photos, charts and diagrams by Luciana Facchini.