Dilma Rousseff, the president of Brazil, announced her country will invest US$ 2 billion in a scholarship program to send overseas to the best world universities, 100.000 graduates.
“Brazil in coming years needs men and women well educated and prepared so that Brazil can focus on the knowledge economy, science production and technological innovation,” said Rousseff.
On launching the program “Knowledge with no Frontiers” Rousseff said that scholarships will be for one year and will benefit students from government and private universities, so that all segments of society have access to the benefit.
The program is also geared to attract foreign scientists who are losing or have lost financing in foreign developing countries.
The scholarship plan is focused on specific areas such as hydrocarbons, air engineering, math, computers, biology and nanotechnology.
The first batch of 1.500 will be leaving for the US next January based on an agreement reached between Rousseff and President Obama during his visit to Brazil last March.
Other destinations for Brazilian graduates include, Italy, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Australia, Canada, Japan, Sweden, South Korea, China, UK, France and Germany
Finance Wind Farms
In another front, Brazil’s development bank, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social, BNDES, will provide 1.8 billion reais (US$ 966 million) to finance wind farms as the renewable energy source dominates government auctions for new power capacity.
ContourGlobal LP, União dos Ventos, DESA Eólicas SA and Grupo Galvão will use the funds to build 26 wind energy projects with a total of 628.8 megawatts of capacity, the Rio de Janeiro-based bank said in an emailed statement.
Wind farms are receiving more contracts to sell power through government-organized auctions in Brazil than small hydroelectric and biomass plants, Eduardo Tabbush an energy-finance analyst said. “More wind farms are signing contracts in auctions because they’re cheaper to build” he added.
The 26 projects will cost 2.6 billion reais and are planned for the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte.
BNDES approved 3.3 billion Reais worth of loans to Brazilian wind farms in 2011, almost quadruple last year’s total, according to the statement.
Brazilian electricity distributors signed contracts to buy electricity from 78 wind farms at an average rate of about 100 Reais a megawatt-hour in the nation’s last two power auctions in August, national energy agency Empresa de Pesquisa Energética said on its website. None went to small hydroelectric plants and 11 went to biomass projects.