"With this agreement, Peru has become an important partner for Germany in the area of collaborative research," said Helge Braun. "This is absolutely in line with the Federal Government's internationalization strategy, which was agreed upon by the coalition: In order to find solutions to global issues like climate change or the fight against diseases and epidemics, researchers from around the world must work more closely together."
There are currently around 50 cooperative higher education projects between Germany and Peru; in addition, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) are active at the Catholic University of Peru in Lima. On the whole, however, research cooperation with Peru has been relatively under developed.
President-in-Office Humala and his party Gana Perú now want to strengthen their country's research and development (R&D) activities during the current legislative period. R&D expenditure is to increase to 0.7 per cent of Peru's gross domestic product by 2015. At the moment, Peru ranks in the bottom third of Latin America in comparison to countries like Brazil with currently 0.8 per cent, Chile with 0.7 per cent, and Mexico and Argentina - both with 0.5 per cent.
This is to be achieved through, for example, the "Canón Minero" - a state instrument that provides funding to mining regions. Columbia is a model for this project, where the "Fondo de regalías" guarantees that 10 per cent of the national revenue from natural resources be directed to R&D investments. In Peru, 25 per cent of state mining revenue flows through the "Canón Minero" back into the region, a fifth of which in turn is made available to institutions of higher education. In 2010 this accounted for around 35 million euros.
Until the late 1990s, Peru experienced a bloody civil war coupled with high political instability. All efforts towards state modernization, decentralization, and restructuring of public facilities, including those in the area of R&D, are barely over 10 years old. Science and research in Peru are organized by the National Council of Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC), which is affiliated with the BMBF. However, there is a current debate regarding the potential upgrade of CONCYTEC to a Ministry of Science and Research.
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On behalf of the BMBF and in close cooperation with the BMBF International Office, studies have been conducted on the research landscape of Germany's import partner countries in Latin America (in German only). (URL: http://www.bmbf.de/pubRD/Forschungslandkarte_Peru.pdf)