The MSI Program sought to revitalize Chile's science and technology system by supporting advanced training of human capital by world class scientists engaged in cutting edge research. It sought to demonstrate the effectiveness of transparent merit-based allocation procedures and investigator autonomy in improving the quality and efficiency of scientific research and training. The Learning and Innovation Loan (LiL) from the World Bank partly financed a competitive fund to support three world-class research groups (Science Institutes) and ten emerging groups of high quality (Science Nuclei), providing adequate levels of medium term funding to enable the best scientists to compete with their international peers. The aim was to allow these centers and groups to perform frontier scientific research and provide training to graduate and postgraduate fellows. The program was also designed to disseminate the new knowledge through education and extension programs, links with the private sector and partnerships with other institutions. Article here.
Two leaders of the Chilean MSI have won major national science prizes: Dr. Pablo Valenzuela, director of the MSI Institute in Fundamental and Applied Biology (Santiago), was awarded the National Prize in Applied Science and Technology. Dr. Ramon Latorre of the Center for Scientific Studies (Valdivia) won the National Prize in Natural Science.
The Millennium Science Initiative is the new kid on the block of international science. It came out of science's favorite process--serendipity--and its mission is to nurture world-class science and scientific talent in the developing world. One of its lasting results may be to slow, if not halt the brain drain of young scientists from developing countries. In the four years since the Millennium Science Initiative (MSI) was launched in collaboration with the World Bank, it has established 10 research institutes in Chile, 5 research entities in Mexico, and seventeen projects in Brazil. Since its start in 1998, MSI has initiated or participated in discussions about strengthening the science and technology in eight countries or regions of the world. MSI sites represent the science spectrum, including life science, the environment, oceanography, agriculture, forest management and astrophysics. Article here.