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Cablegate: Ambassador Pursues More Bilateral Cooperation With

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1280/01 3271750
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231749Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0086
INFO MERCOSUR COLLECTIVE
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001280

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
DEPT FOR OES/STC AND OES/IHB
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE
HHS FOR OFFICE OF GLOBAL HEALTH AFFAIRS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO TPHY PGOV PREL AR
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR PURSUES MORE BILATERAL COOPERATION WITH
ARGENTINA'S SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY MINISTER BARANAO

REF: BUENOS AIRES 00603

1. (SBU) Summary: The Ambassador met on November 19 with Science
and Technology Minister Lino Baranao to inquire about the GoA's
priorities and to discuss ways to expand bilateral cooperation.
Baranao expressed his interest in moving Argentina from a culture
of pure scientific research to one where research translates into
new ventures and job creation. He called for increased exchanges
with U.S. universities, which the Ambassador offered to foster with
universities in California and Texas. Baranao also asked for USG
assistance for an event in September 2010 to celebrate Argentina's
Bicentennial, which would bring together the major U.S. scientific
agencies and their Argentine counterparts. The event would be a
retrospective of past cooperation and a look to the future. After
the meeting, the Ambassador, along with Health Minister Juan
Manzur, witnessed Baranao's signing of a cancer research agreement,
the "United States-Latin America Cancer Research Network"
(US-LACRN), which aims to develop a greater understanding of breast
cancer in Hispanic populations in Latin America and the United
States. We believe that continued investment in developing
partnerships in science and technology will help strengthen our
overall bilateral relationship. End Summary.

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A FOCUS ON TRANSLATING RESEARCH INTO JOBS

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2. (SBU) Minister Baranao highlighted the existing cooperation with
numerous USG agencies, such as NASA, the National Institutes of
Health (NIH), and the National Science Foundation (NSF), among many
others. He called for expanded contacts with leading U.S.
universities, to which the Ambassador offered to extend linkages
with universities in Texas and California. Baranao said that one
of his major goals was to attract to Argentina not only academics
but also research and development high-tech companies. He
explained that he wanted to change the scientific culture in
Argentina, which he characterized as too focused on pure research
and the production of papers. His goal is to develop increasing
links between research and the creation of new ventures and
high-paying jobs. "It is important to show that our investment in
science translates into jobs," he noted. To this effect, Baranao
wants to foster fluid communication and joint projects between
universities and companies.

3. (SBU) "We want to avoid a brain drain," Baranao said, pointing
to the small number of companies involved in science and technology
in Argentina, especially spin-offs from research. Baranao noted
that the S&T Ministry was working with an Inter-American
Development Bank (IDB) loan to address this problem. "Argentina
has good scientists but lacks good managers who can handle the
transfer of technology from research into new technology and new
companies," he said. He added that Argentina's financial system
was not set up to help dynamic companies to expand into export
markets. "Brazil has a better system with BANDES (Brazil's
development bank)", he said, "but we will make a proposal to the
IDB in this respect." Baranao also highlighted the importance of
public-private partnerships.

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COOPERATION IN CANCER RESEARCH

------------------------------

4. (SBU) Following the meeting, the Ambassador, along with Health
Minister Juan Manzur, witnessed Baranao's signing of a cancer
research agreement, the "United States-Latin America Cancer
Research Network" (US-LACRN), which aims to develop a greater
understanding of breast cancer in Hispanic populations in Latin
America and the United States and further cancer research and
treatment infrastructure. Manzur took this opportunity with the


press present to announce that the Ministry of Health planned to
establish in Argentina a national cancer institute. He expressed
hope that this institute would be up and running within a few
months, thanks to assistance and advice from the U.S. National
Cancer Institute (NCI).

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COMMENT

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5. (SBU) Science and technology, as well as health, are among the
highlights of our bilateral cooperation with Argentina. The
just-signed cancer research agreement is bound to have a
significant social impact in Argentina, as will certainly have the
national cancer institute, when it is operational. These are good
news stories. In other scientific areas, from space cooperation to
nanotechnology to bio-engineering, the contacts between U.S. and
Argentine researchers are multiple and fruitful. Continued
investment in developing partnerships in science and technology
will help strengthen our overall bilateral relationship.

MARTINEZ
MARTINEZ

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