The Siege of USP

Image: Polina Zimmerman


The managerial and marketing solution to privatize the University

On May 7, 2021, Governor João Doria announced the installation of a private college on the premises of the Technological Research Institute (IPT) of São Paulo, located on the Butantã campus of the University of São Paulo (USP). The news had modest circulation in the mainstream media, deserving only one article in the newspaper's technology section. Folha de S. Paul next week[I]. The Campus News the news only reverberated on July 13, 2021[ii]. The newspaper's ombudsman, journalist Luís Nassif, dedicated a necessary critical comment to him[iii].

If, on the one hand, the traditional communication media gave little prominence to the initiative, on the other hand, it had great repercussions among the communication vehicles linked to the financial market. Between April and May 2021, more than a dozen specialized newspapers and blogs, such as Valor Econômico[iv], Invest Exam[v], Brazil Journal[vi], Neofeed[vii], I want to invest[viii], capitalist[ix] e Digital Capital[X], celebrated the news. The fact is due to the participation of banker André Esteves in the initiative that, incidentally, marks his return to BTG Pactual, after being removed from control of the bank in 2015, on suspicion of trying to obstruct the investigations of Operation Lava Jato[xi]. As part of efforts to recover his image in the public scene and his credibility in the financial market, the billionaire announced the donation of R$ 200 million from his assets, valued at a fortune of US$ 8 billion, for the creation of the Instituto de Technology and Leadership (Intelli).

But beyond the personal search for recognition and prestige, the fact reveals the confluence of two particular processes. On the one hand, the intensification of the directions that PSDB governments have given to state science and technology policy in recent years, with a new model of articulation between public institutions and companies and the private sector. On the other hand, a new offensive by financial market actors in the educational debate.

These two dynamics, which involve a complex articulation between different groups, reveal two faces of the contemporary dispute for the transformation of the modes of production and reproduction of technical and scientific knowledge and the role of the State in this process. The success of the undertaking may also mean the relative success of these groups in producing a consensus on the direction of these transformations: the business vision must determine public policies in education, science and technology and it is up to public institutions to develop new legal orders capable of satisfying this imperative . To face these dynamics, it is important to record the genesis of the processes that contribute to this vision being built and perceived as the only possible destination.

The Brazilian Silicon Valley?

At the Inteli launch event, São Paulo's economic development secretary, Patrícia Ellen, stated: “This is a historic moment, Governor, we are in fact transforming this region into the Brazilian Silicon Valley. We already have USP, IPT, a series of cutting-edge partners, working in this region. With Inteli, we take another step, which is to train leaders for the future”[xii]. The transformation to which the secretary refers is, in fact, the creation of the International Center for Technology and Innovation (CITI). The first step in the creation of CITI is the design of the IPT Open Experience, through which Inteli will be implemented, within the IPT campus.

The CITI creation project is the crown jewel of the João Doria government. The initiative promises to unite a set of public facilities in the western region of the city, which have already been the targets of numerous requalification and reurbanization projects, around the creation of a technological center, whose implementation has also been tested several times over the last two decades. . The project is being carried out by the Secretariat for Economic Development of the State of São Paulo (SDE), a body that gained attention from the state administration in the last PSDB administrations in the State and which already had vice-governors Rodrigo Garcia as secretaries, between 2013 and 2014 , and Márcio França, between 2015 and 2018.

The project intends to carry out a major urban transformation in the region close to USP with the aim of forming a “belt of high-intensity innovation and technology companies”, as reported on the website Neofeed[xiii]. The mention of Silicon Valley dates back to 2002, when the first version of the project was launched by then governor Geraldo Alckmin[xiv]. Roughly speaking, it is a reference to the region of California (USA) known for being home to large technology and innovation companies that have developed from the interaction between universities, companies and public authorities.

CITI will be implemented in four phases. The first of these is the IPT Open Experience, which is already in operation. The second stage consists of the creation of the Jaguaré Technological Park.

The project to create a State Technological Park in the Jaguaré region was launched in 2002, during the first administration of Governor Geraldo Alckmin. It was only in 2011 that construction work began on the Park's headquarters, on the 46 m² plot located next to the university city of Butantã, close to gate 2 of Cidade Universitária, in Butantã. The works were completed at the end of 2014. In 2015, the building became the new headquarters of Investe SP, a social organization linked to the Secretary of Finance and Planning focused on promoting investment, exports and innovation, which also became the qualified as a technology park management entity[xv]. Since then, the proposal to house technology-based companies has never been implemented and the format has changed several times. In early 2017, a pharmaceutical company even announced, alongside the governor, the installation of its new unit in the Park, which did not happen[xvi]. Currently, in addition to Investe SP, the land for the headquarters of the future technology park also houses SDE.

This second stage of the CITI foresees that the IPT will be incorporated into the Park, which will then receive the name of Parque Tecnológico do Jaguaré. The incorporation will finally make it possible for the park to have its definitive accreditation in the Paulista System of Technological Parks, whose regulation determines the need to complete a minimum area of ​​200 thousand m²[xvii].

The third and fourth stages foresee the expansion of spaces for the installation of laboratories and innovation centers for companies, startups and incubators. In the third stage, the land of the Provisional Detention Center (CDP) of Pinheiros will be incorporated, which should be deactivated[xviii]. Some properties owned by the Metropolitan Water and Energy Company (EMAE) in the region should also be made available to technology companies. The forecast is that, at this stage, a total of 182 m² can be made available for use by companies. In the fourth stage, the Companhia de Entrepostos e Armazéns Gerais de São Paulo (CEAGESP) will be deactivated, which will be incorporated into the initiative, adding an area of ​​630 thousand m²[xx].

The proposal for the deactivation of CDP and CEAGESP are old. The allocation of these areas has already been included in several projects over the last few years. In 2013, a city hall committee, responsible for drawing up a plan for the urban and social rehabilitation of marginal roads, announced plans to create a large park in the area, with the installation of cultural and sports equipment.[xx]. In 2014, the release of the CEAGESP area became part of the “Arco do Futuro” project, by Mayor Fernando Haddad, and provided for the creation of a mixed neighborhood, through the construction of popular housing, residential towers and shops on the site.[xxx].

Picture: Highlight of the equipment that will be incorporated into the CITI

The IPT Open Experience

The Technological Research Institute (IPT) was created in 1899, as a teaching unit of the Polytechnic School (POLI) at USP. With the creation of USP, in 1934, the IPT was dismembered from POLI and began to function as a public company to support technical training and the training of qualified professionals for the technological development of the State, playing a relevant role in supporting major works. infrastructure and the development of strategic public companies for the country. From the 1970s onwards, the IPT consolidated its activities with national industry, with an increase in partnerships with the private sector in the provision of technological services, especially in the areas of materials, infrastructure and transport, changing, in 1976, its form legal for a corporation, of which the State of São Paulo is the main controller, with 99% of the shares.

Since then, there has been a diversification of the Institute's sources of funds, including those coming from projects financed by research promotion agencies, the provision of services to the public and private sector and the State's budget allocation. However, what is often referred to as resource diversification ended up meaning a decrease in public investment, which led to the successive crises faced by the IPT in recent decades.[xxiii][xxiii][xxv][xxiv].

Data from the Budget Execution Management Information System (SIGEO), of the São Paulo State Finance Department, show that in the last ten years the IPT has suffered a significant reduction in government transfers. Considering the monetary restatement, since 2012 funding resources are lower than those of 2008. Resources destined for investments, on the other hand, had a significant drop from 2012 to 2020, when the transfer for this purpose was zeroed. From 2014 to 2021, there was a 25% reduction in the institution's staff, which went from 905 positions occupied to 661. , which has been frozen for three years[xxv].

It is in this scenario of budget reduction and work precariousness that, in 2019, the Institute begins a reorganization process, with the objective of establishing new ways for the institution to act in serving the public sector and, mainly, the private sector. In the 2019 annual letter from the institution's Board of Directors, this "new cycle of development" in IPT's work is detailed[xxviii]. This is the reorganization of the IPT's “market of action” into two programs: IPT.Gov and IPT.Com.

As explained in the document, the IPT.Gov program was structured with the “purpose of repositioning the role and image of the IPT with the State Bodies and Secretariats, moving from a service provider to a partner, providing technological support and developing innovations for the public policies in different areas”. The change defines nine strategic areas of action and provides for greater participation by the Institute in proposing projects in these areas with state agencies.

The IPT.Com program refers to a more substantive restructuring. The program aims to implement a “new business model”, expand the Institute's international presence and adopt a new position regarding the possibilities of changing the organization of the development policy. With the program, to its institutional mission of knowledge generation, technological development and provision of technological services, the IPT incorporated a new vision: “to develop and incorporate innovation in business, leveraged by the contribution of knowledge and infrastructure of the IPT, by the model of open innovation, through the involvement of startups and other partners in the innovation ecosystem”.

The open innovation applied to a research institute such as the IPT, it refers, in practice, to the concession of a wide range of resources from the Institute to the private sector: buildings, equipment, instruments, laboratories and researchers. The guideline contemplates, at the same time, the interest of some internal sectors of USP, in particular, the Polytechnic School (POLI) and the Faculty of Economics and Administration (FEA), and the privatist primer of the Doria administration, submitting the technological policy of the Institute to the so-called “market needs”. This is the model that the project of the IPT Open Experience seeks to implement, under the purpose of “leveraging technological innovation projects of Brazilian companies”, offering a “technological and business infrastructure conducive to the development of hard tech, engineering, applied research and innovation”.

The concession model is being implemented through public calls and is structured in two ways: the installation of innovation centers of companies in the IPT buildings and the participation of companies in a hub of innovation for the development of “innovative products and solutions”.

The call hub of innovation will be constituted from the purchase of quotas by the companies for the use of spaces in building 1 of the IPT. Companies interested in buying quotas will be entitled to use the IPT infrastructure and a set of activities and services offered, which include submission of projects of interest to companies to development agencies; support for the elaboration of customized research, development and innovation projects for the technological demands of companies; support in the search for researchers, specialists and infrastructure from IPT and partner scientific and technological institutions; qualifications and training for company teams; private space, etc. The eight quota options range from R$6.600.000 for a three-year period to R$136.000 for a one-year period. This value varies according to three factors: the company's affiliation rate to the hub, the payment amount for the “service portfolio offered” and the investment commitment amount in projects of interest to companies with IPT participation.

In August 2019, a public notice was launched to choose the company responsible for managing the hub for five years. The announcement determined two selection criteria. The first was the “operational technical capacity of the proposing institution”, evaluated by dimensions such as “international partnerships”; “partnerships with equity investment funds for startups”; “number of incubated or accelerated startups”; “projects in conjunction with companies and institutions of science and technology (ICT)”; “experience in managing multidisciplinary and/or multi-user projects”, among others. The second criterion adopted was a “proposal for activating the ecosystem” that considered: prediction of revenue generation with the commercial exploitation of space; “strategies for attracting quota holders”; “partnerships for the development of projects between companies and ICTs”; “attraction and connection with investment funds”, among others[xxviii].

The company that won the tender was Us Innovators, in a contract worth an estimated BRL 69 million[xxix]. Founded in 2016 as a business management consultancy, the company specializes in “creating and managing spaces for innovation, events and exponential learning” and was responsible for the conceptualization, execution and management of Inovabra Habitat, Bradesco bank’s innovation space[xxx]. Among its partners, the company brings together a group of businessmen from different areas: Paschoal Fabra Neto, publicist, founder of the advertising agency F&Q Brasil; Márcio Moraes, founder and president of Grupo RFM, which operates in the areas of construction, incorporation and real estate development; Mervyn Lowe, founder of P3D Education, an educational software development company; and João Francisco Mendes, founder and president of Unipartners, a venture capital investment holding company.

The specifics of the public notice show that the vision that guides the project is anchored in the Institute's lease. The IPT laboratories, centers and research centers will not only be at the service of developing products, techniques and processes for companies, but the Institute will also serve as a business platform between emerging companies and financial corporations in the profitability of these products.

By releasing its research agenda to the private sector, the Institute loses its autonomy, in favor of the commodification of its assets and the financialization of research. The intellectual property policy itself concerning contracts entered into within the scope of the hub attests to this vision, guaranteeing companies, in addition to the possibility of exclusive ownership of intellectual property, great permissiveness so that even the modality of ownership shared with the Institute can be reverted exclusively, through compensation, which is approached in a nonspecific way and ensured by the celebration of confidential contracts[xxxii].

Since 2019 there have been two calls for companies to join the hub. Currently, five companies have joined: Siemens; Siemens Energy; Kimberly-Clark; 3M and Klabin. It will also be installed on hub, the office of the World Economic Forum for the creation of the forum branch for the Center of the 4th Industrial Revolution (C4IR), with the objective of “developing technologies and research applied to the challenges of the industry in the coming years”.

The second type of business participation in the IPT Open Experience is through the installation of innovation centers of companies in IPT buildings released for this purpose. Since 2019, two public calls have been made for companies interested in occupying one of the ten buildings available in this first phase. Two companies signed a contract for the installation of their applied research centers: GranBio, owned by businessman Bernardo Gradin, who is also president of the Inspirare Institute, specialized in the segment of educational technologies and innovations, and a member of the State Council for Science and Technology, appointed in April this year by Governor João Doria; and the Brazilian Institute of Technology and Computer Science (IBTCC), a private association that owns Inteli, whose partners are the directors of BTG Pactual André Esteves, Roberto Sallouti; Mateus Ivar Carneiro and Iuri Rapoport.

Installing Inteli in IPT Open Experience

The contract signed on April 23 of this year, between the IBTCC and the IPT provides for the concession of two buildings to the institute for a period of fifteen years, with an estimated value of R$ 40 million, divided into monthly installments, to be paid as a counterpart financial. The IBTCC was created by the partners of BTG Pactual in September 2019. The institute owns Faculdade Paulistana Unidas, a company incorporated into its assets in July 2020. On the portal e-mech, it appears that the company was accredited by the National Council of Education in November 2019 and its trade name was changed to Institute of Technology and Leadership (Inteli) in March 2021[xxxi].

The installation of Inteli within the scope of the project IPT Open Experience raises suspicion about the objectives of the initiative. This is because the institute's participation was made possible by the implementation modality of the innovation centers. Although the public calls made do not specify the definition of innovation centers, they present a set of priority business areas and technological competences for the installation of these centers, in relation to which the final activity of the institute's performance, the offering of higher education services, is not contemplated. Likewise, the emphasis given by the agents promoting the initiative, in numerous interviews, falls on the correspondence between innovation centers e applied research centers, something that also seems alien to the institute's activities.

As verified by the Adusp newsletter[xxxii], the installation of Inteli on the IPT campus came from an invitation from the state secretary for economic development, Patrícia Ellen, to the president of the IBTCC, Roberto Sallouti, current CEO of BTG Pactual. In fact, the changes made between the first public call notice, in July 2019, and the second notice, in March 2021, make it seem that they sought to adapt to this invitation. In the first notice, the proposal was addressed to “interested companies”. In the second public notice, all mentions made previously to companies are replaced by mentions to “interested institutions”. Also in the second notice, the base value of the financial consideration for the use of building five is reduced in relation to the standard value established for all other available buildings.

Inteli will be installed in IPT buildings five and six. The argument for the move is the need for a “significantly more substantial renovation” of the building. The argument seems weak, since the second public notice provides for a methodology for evaluating the improvements made by companies in the buildings made available by the IPT, which establishes the possibility of indemnification of up to 55% of the costs, to be deducted from the monthly payment of financial counterparts. It is also noteworthy that, even before the contract was signed, on April 23, photos of the architectural project for the renovation of the historic building of the IPT, developed by the French architecture firm Pitá, were already being published in the specialized press, as is the case of matter of Brazil Journal, from April 07[xxxv]. In the absence of transparency, these indications suggest, at least, ethical problems in the relationship between the public and private sectors.

In itself, this fact reinforces the idea that the project's orientation, contrary to what it appears to be, lacks a strategic plan to strengthen the areas in which the IPT has technical expertise and specialized human resources. On the contrary, it corroborates the prospect of a project aimed at dismantling this structure, in favor of granting public goods to the private sector, whose possible counterparts seem to be negligible compared to the costs to the institution.

In this sense, it is also worth noting that the installation of other private education institutions on the IPT campus has already been announced, such as the São Paulo branch of the American Singularity University[xxxiv], now headquartered in Alphaville, and the São Paulo branch of the Pernambuco-based CESAR School, now headquartered in Sorocaba[xxxiv].

Inteli and BTG Pactual's new ventures in the education area

In recent years, BTG Pactual has intensified its activity in the management of equity investment funds in companies in the field of education. The most successful case has been the “Investimento Inspira” fund, from which, in 2019, the bank became the main shareholder and controller of Inspira Participações, a company created in 2017 and specialized in the management of secondary schools, with a investment of BRL 250 million.

The reasons for the investment are pointed out in a 2019 bank document, according to which “Inspira's strategy is to consolidate itself in the Brazilian basic education sector through strategic M&As [Mergers and Acquisitions], organic growth and professionalization of schools. Considering that the unsatisfactory quality of the public education system guarantees a resilient demand in the education market and that the long cycle of student training generates stable and predictable cash flows, the prospects for gains are positive. In addition, the fragmentation of the education segment (top 5 players have less than 5% market share) offers room for consolidation, through M&As of networks with regional growth potential, management gains and scale to create a robust and professional platform in the sector. Finally, it is important to highlight that Inspira is a company with limited exposure to the government, since it is not exposed to programs such as FIES and PROUNI, which are programs aimed at higher education, a segment that the company does not operate”[xxxviii].

The bank's role in controlling the fund is seen as strategic for operating in a market seen as highly profitable and still not very financialized. Fund contributions intensified the process of school mergers and acquisitions by Inspira, which since October 2019 has incorporated 29 schools, becoming the third largest school operator in the country, in a network that already covers 55 schools[xxxviii].

The creation of Inteli marks a new type of offensive by BTG Pactual in the area of ​​education, which intends to differentiate itself from the action directly interested in the profitability of educational assets. On May 7, while accompanying Governor João Doria to the event that announced the installation of the Inteli within the university city, banker André Esteves declared: “The Inteli is a philanthropic project, a legacy for Brazilian society that serves as an example for those who had the privilege of being successful, the privilege of accumulating resources, which they give back, so that we can build an even better society together”[xxxix].

The statement attests to the banker's intention to build the image of the businessman committed to society and reinforces what would be the exemplary character of his initiative. Rhetoric has become increasingly common in the philanthropic activities of businessmen and their families in the educational environment and fulfills a dual function. On the one hand, it guarantees symbolic returns by serving as a mechanism for linking its private investments in the creation of institutions, funding projects and the elaboration of public policies, and the names of its brands and their families, for which it guarantees recognition and prestige in the public arena. On the other hand, by emphasizing the supposed social contribution of their philanthropic practices, it ends up refuting the fiscal redistributive policy as a possibility of return, assuring these families a form of accumulation and concentration of capital.

That is, by self-proclaiming the philanthropic aspect of the initiative, the banker's speech makes it seem that the creation of the institute is not related to any type of particular interest. After all, it would be a non-profit institution, whose mission would be defined by a deep sense of social commitment, by offering qualified training in strategic areas for the economic and technological development of the country. However, the allegedly disinterested nature of the initiative masks a specific form of investment, interested not only in eventual symbolic and implicit economic profits, but also in the transmission, to the leading groups it intends to form, of certain ways of understanding and perceiving the world, articulated to the educational vision that will organize the ways of reproducing knowledge within the institution.

The Inteli education project

The Institute of Technology and Leadership is presented as a computing college that will initially offer courses in computer engineering, software engineering, computer science and information systems. The justification for the creation of the faculty and the definition of the courses comes from the diagnosis, repeated on several occasions by André Esteves and Ricardo Sallouti, of a lack of training for qualified engineers in view of the growing market demand. The diagnosis is refuted by some researchers, who point, on the contrary, to an overcoming of demand in the supply of engineers[xl]. In any case, what is worth highlighting is the use of this diagnosis to validate what is seen as the social interest of the initiative.

Perhaps more important is the connection between the offer of specialization in these technological areas and the concern to form leaders, that is, the economic, bureaucratic and political elites. It is the perception that technical informational knowledge constitutes a differential factor in the reproduction strategies of the dominant groups. But not only. As highlighted on the Inteli website, the transmission of this technical knowledge is associated with the development of two other types of competence: in the business area and in the leadership area, which, although comprehensive, are related to the transmission of managerial knowledge and communicative skills . In this sense, the proposal to create Inteli is similar to other more or less recent initiatives, also undertaken by agents from the business world and the financial market, such as Insper and the Center for Public Leadership.

The institution's education project was designed with the aim of “disrupting teaching” (sic), as stated by Roberto Sallouti, president of the institution. It is, in fact, a conception of education based on the business perspective, with the objective of offering a professional profile linked to what is sought to be qualified as the “needs of companies”. To consolidate this perspective, the direction of the institute was in charge of Maíra Habimorad, specialist in human resources, who was CEO of Cia de Talentos for nine years and academic and innovation director of Ibmec. The curriculum was prepared by Maurício García, former academic and innovation vice-president at Adtalem Brasil, an educational group that brings together institutions such as Ibmec and which, recently, was incorporated by Yduqs, formerly Estácio, and currently the second largest higher education in Brazil.

Following the contemporary trend of curricula transformation from the incorporation of educational technological innovations, the development of skills and abilities and emphasis on the context of knowledge application, the educational proposal corresponds to “project based learning, competence based learning e flipped classroom”. The proposal provides that “students go to college to clear up doubts, do group projects and work”, while “classes and lectures will be recorded and digital tracks will be made available to students”. Project-based learning is presented as the differential aspect of the proposal, which provides that students develop, each semester, a project focused on solving a problem “to meet the needs of a market partner, whether private companies, startups or NGOs”[xi]. In fact, one of the forms of partnership between the institute and the IPT is precisely the possibility of the IPT providing technological consultancy to the projects that will be developed by the students, with the possibility of “subsequent application and commercialization in the market, and also, its availability to the public. society, respecting the provisions for the protection and licensing of intellectual property rights", as highlighted in the institute's document published by Adusp[xliii].

This vision of an education linked to market requirements and all the technological bias that seeks to sustain it is not new, although perhaps it assumes a specific form here. In any case, this view supports a way of conceiving knowledge that is erected against the valuation of a reflective knowledge, capable of offering conditions for the critical examination of the adopted modes of transmission and the selected contents, while it is defined by the transmission of an allegedly technical knowledge, determined by the appropriation of knowledge and technical instruments whose relevance is determined by the demands of the famous market. It is this vision that makes it possible, for example, for project leaders to defend the adoption of disciplines such as “entrepreneurship, market economy, rule of law and sustainability”, at the same time that they can claim the non-partisan character of the initiative, that is , a position of neutrality in the political universe[xiii].

The intention of making the proposal a model is also worth mentioning, as pointed out by Maira Habimorad, “as Inteli advances, we dream of making this teaching methodology available that we understand works, of projects and skills, to other faculties and schools that have this interest[xiv].

In this sense, the geographic proximity of this institution to a research university such as USP corresponds to the opportunity to establish relationships of different orders, from the symbolic gains of its location to the creation of spaces for socialization between different groups and institutional formats of partnerships, capable of offering favorable conditions for the transformation of the values ​​of the public university by the private company. From another point of view, we can also understand this investment as one of the strategies for reproducing spaces for the formation and socialization of economic and political elites, in view of the scenario of expansion and diversification of educational institutions and, in particular, of engineering courses. By proclaiming the institution's social commitment, the group ensures the conditions to control the mechanisms of social reproduction of a certain portion of the leading groups, guaranteeing the transmission of a particular world view to the leaders they want to form.

The Siege of USP

The current privatist offensive and the entrepreneurial vision that sustains it makes us believe that the planning of public policies in education, science and technology must give way to the production of spaces and the induction of processes that can favor the so-called “organic interaction” between entities that would share a common concern: economic development based on science and technology. The mobilized terminology makes us forget, however, that this missionary vision shared by these agents involves interests of a different nature from those that guide the mission of public teaching and research institutions. This forgetting effect contributes to the colonization of the idea of public good e public function institutions by private interest. Likewise, this view ignores that these exchanges are subject to a particular institutional space, which obeys its own logic of functioning, historically defined by the specific conditions of production of a rationally based knowledge, alien to the external determination of any order, be it economic, political, religious, etc. This offensive is the most visible part of a long-term process that threatens this logic of organization of scientific and educational practices.

This attempt to blur the boundaries between public and private is at the root of regulatory reforms in recent decades, championed by important scientific associations such as the Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science (SBPC) and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC). It is worth highlighting the series of changes in legislation concerning incentives for scientific development, research, scientific and technological training and innovation carried out in recent years. The technological innovation law, from 2004, and the legal framework for science, technology and innovation, from 2016, are instruments that made it possible to carry out policies of this type, by providing, for example, for the expansion of research promotion modalities, with the possibility of public funding for business innovation; and the possibility of “sharing” personnel, financial and material resources from the public sector with the private sector, providing security and legal guarantee for these policies.

In this sense, the model of IPT Open Experience, which will be replicated in the creation and operationalization of CITI, actually results in these changes that have been taking place in the legal order of science and technology policies since the 1990s. This model is built on the basis of a public-private concession policy based on two axes. On the one hand, in the transfer of public institutions' spaces for private use. On the other hand, in the transformation of equipment, laboratories and human resources, linked to education, science and technology institutions, into services available for free appropriation by the private sector for the promotion of applied research interested in the development of profitable products and processes.

What is announced as a virtuous cycle, capable of finally promoting the much-desired articulation between universities and companies, can actually prove to be a major obstacle to the development of scientific research at USP. Immediately, it is necessary to discuss the impact of the private appropriation of these resources on the public character that should guide the functioning of institutions such as IPT and USP. Likewise, there are uncertainties regarding the intellectual property policy regarding the provision of these services to the private sector, which announces the risks of depreciation of public assets and basic research in the face of the benefit that partnerships between institutions (units, research centers, laboratories , departments, etc.) and companies can bring to private entities (entrepreneurs, investors, research groups, researchers, etc.).

In the long term, the design of this policy also provides for greater participation by funding institutions, such as FAPESP, FINEP, CAPES and CNPq, in financing applied research. Greater competition in the distribution of these institutions' resources, which is already happening with the expansion of the so-called thematic public notices, may further impact the financing of basic research at USP. It is also worth remembering that, in PSDB governments, scenarios of diversification of funding sources for public institutions (in this case, with greater participation of the private sector and priority allocation to applied research) tend to lead to a decrease in direct public funding. The case of the IPT serves as an example.

In 2016, the “USP of the future” report, prepared by the McKinsey consultancy, already contained recommendations that can in fact be contemplated with this policy. Among the report's recommendations, it is worth mentioning the following guidelines: "guarantee democratic access to the University's spaces and properties in an economically sustainable manner”, which is, in fact, equivalent to offering the university's material and immaterial resources to the private sector; “to create laboratories with shared structures for cutting-edge multidisciplinary research, with public and private funding”; “sbe a financially sustainable University with at least 30% of its own income”; and “develop criteria for prioritizing resources between units, reinforcing areas of excellence to become a world reference”[xlv]. Despite sounding alarmist, the parallel makes sense. The current secretary of economic development, Patrícia Ellen, and the executive secretary of the folder, Américo Sakamoto, participated in the coordination of the project at the time.[xlv].

It is necessary to critically examine the consequences of this policy of public-private concession, and of the particular conceptions and visions that it ends up spreading, in the modes of reproduction and production of knowledge that define a teaching and research institution such as USP. Against the managerial and marketing solution that certain groups work to impose on the problems faced in the management of public institutions and the public good, it is necessary to build alternatives to innovation policies, which incorporate the social and political dimension in the conception of knowledge and in its modes of expression. production and application.[xlv]

*Lucas Gariani is a master's student in sociology at USP.
















































[xlv] The author is grateful for the generous suggestions and criticisms of the previous version of this text, sent by Laura Gianecchini, Pedro Grunewald Louro and Vitor Queiroz de Medeiros. Some of the ideas I have tried to develop here are the fruits of that conversation. Any errors are, of course, my responsibility. Given the impossibility of addressing here all the important issues raised, I attest to the expectation of being able to continue this dialogue.

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  • Strengthen PROIFESclassroom 54mf 15/06/2024 By GIL VICENTE REIS DE FIGUEIREDO: The attempt to cancel PROIFES and, at the same time, turn a blind eye to the errors of ANDES management is a disservice to the construction of a new representation scenario
  • PEC-65: independence or patrimonialism in the Central Bank?Campos Neto Trojan Horse 17/06/2024 By PEDRO PAULO ZAHLUTH BASTOS: What Roberto Campos Neto proposes is the constitutional amendment of free lunch for the future elite of the Central Bank
  • Chico Buarque, 80 years oldchico 19/06/2024 By ROGÉRIO RUFINO DE OLIVEIRA: The class struggle, universal, is particularized in the refinement of constructive intention, in the tone of proletarian proparoxytones
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives
  • The melancholic end of Estadãoabandoned cars 17/06/2024 By JULIAN RODRIGUES: Bad news: the almost sesquicentennial daily newspaper in São Paulo (and the best Brazilian newspaper) is rapidly declining