October 2006


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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Charlie Welch <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 3 Oct 2006 15:10:25 -0500
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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Mission Science participants and 3,000 people from all around the
country met in order to announce their achievements. So far, there are
456 Productive Innovation Networks (RIP, Spanish acronym). Higher levels
of technological independence aim at endogenous development.

If we look up general definitions of knowledge, we can find that it is a
set of facts, truths, or information acquired through experience or
learning (a posteriori), or through study (a priori). Knowledge is
considered an item that can be passed on among people and systems,
unlike intelligence, which is an inherent property. Likewise, it can be
defined as information about the world, allowing us to make decisions.

Notwithstanding, after theorizing on knowledge, we can infer that if it
is not within everybody’s reach, it is useless. Every day, we are
exposed to all kind of advancements; knowledge is not within everybody’s
reach, though. However, many nations make efforts in order to rectify
this situation; in our country, for instance, Mission Science develops
in order to achieve higher levels of technological independence, thus
aiming at endogenous development as a cultural change.

In Venezuela, a more human development model is underway in order to
give everybody the same opportunities to move forward. This is why a
national meeting on knowledge is held - featuring a convoy transporting
nearly 3,000 people - in order to achieve endogenous development.

These 3,000 people - Mission Science participants - met in a camp in
order to announce the achievements of this social program carried out by
the Bolivarian Government through the Ministry of Science and Technology
(MCT, Spanish acronym).

The convoy, comprised by people from different Venezuelan states,
arrived at the National Institute of Agricultural Research (Inia,
Spanish acronym), located in Monagas state, in order held the meeting of

In three days, this convoy and this meeting promoted and spread the
achievements of the Productive Innovation Networks as a new model of
social organization that makes and intensive use of knowledge. The RIPs
are part of “applied knowledge,” first element of Mission Science. Also,
the participants held a meeting with the Venezuelan President, Hugo
Chávez, where they shared their experiences and achievements in the last
7 months of Mission Science.

459 Productive Innovation Networks Work all Around the Country

These networks are production units of goods and services that get
organized, based on democratic participation and relations of reciprocal
support. In order to develop and take advantage of communities’
capabilities and resources, these networks are built up through
generating, spreading, transferring and socially owning knowledge thanks
to linking popular knowledge to science, technology and innovation. This
favors human development, productivity, and inclusion according to
sustainable development.

This event included a visit by the Ministry of Science and Technology,
Marlene Yadira Córdova, to stands promoting the RIP’s products. She
expressed that it was a dream few months ago because she thought it was
difficult to gather over 3,000 people from different Venezuelan states.
She is convinced that this is the first time in the world that such
mobilization, driven by science and technology, takes place since
researches and academicians are the ones who have always managed
knowledge. In this regard, the Venezuelan people are becoming aware of
the importance embodied by knowledge in order to improve the standard of

She pointed out that there are currently 45,000 producers in the RIP;
they have proven it is important to work together by following a model
of solidarity and sharing resources and technology.

“It is about starting to change the model that has ruled production.
They have learnt to make a participative diagnosis, to identify and give
priority to problems. They are also devising a project of technological
change regarding the improvements they need. Their awareness and
knowledge is developing and this eventually leads to a cultural
transformation. So far, there are 459 Productive Innovation Networks.
Mission Science created 349 RIPs.”

Sharing Knowledge and Aiming at Endogenous Development

The National Secretary of Mission Science, Grisel Romero, affirms that
all the work carried out in order to make knowledge more available has
made science hit the streets. These activities seek to show Mission
Science’s first component: “Applied Knowledge.” She explains that
understanding results from research, but it also results from a
non-academic, ancient knowledge, which is applied and articulated with
science and technology in order to improve the production capacity,
which is organized in “Productive Innovation Networks.”

The second component is expansion, which relies on the mission’s
promoters, who permanently accompany producers. The third component is
training talents, where undergraduate and graduate scholarships are
granted, and technological literacy programs take place. Finally,
support is provided to small and mid-size companies.

All this aims at achieving higher levels of technological independence
and sovereignty. As Venezuelans take possession of technology, they will
produce their own technology, thus creating a country project aiming at
endogenous development implying a cultural change. These networks are a
collective work. It is about a strategy of solidarity since Venezuela is
promoting a socialist production model in order to achieve benefits for

In this meeting, the main participants were producers comprising RIPs.
They were accompanied by mission science’s coordinators from different
Venezuelan states, promoters, students and representatives of
organizations accredited to the MCT.

In its 7 months, mission Science has achieved 60% of its goals. That is
the reason why it was necessary to show it to all Venezuelans. In
Venezuela’s East, participants got together to share, think, evaluate
and make proposals regarding this mission’s advancements.

María Mercedes Cobo / Photo: Leila Saab