The engineer Tulio Calderón, Government and Aerospace Project Manager of INVAP (Applied Research Company), delivered a lecture in the context of the cycle organized by the National News Agency, Télam, and the Foreign Correspondents Association.
The meeting, which took place at Télam headquarters in 372 Defensa Street, Buenos Aires City, was attended by accredited journalists from Ecuador, Switzerland, Spain and regional agencies.
During his lecture, Calderón said that “science and technology are having a really great time in Argentine today” and that “universities, research institutions such as Conicet (National Scientific and Technical Research Council) and INTA (National Institute of Agricultural Technology), and industrial companies are finding new and better ways to relate to each other.”
Calderón explained that INVAP, “an Argentine state-owned company of the Province of Río Negro,” works “as a business corporation in the sense that it does not count with a budget of its own,” so that “its income comes only from the work it generates.”
INVAP is busy in the manufacturing of radars, satellites, platforms, nuclear reactors and other high-technology products.
Calderón remarked that “development in this area not only strengthens the country’s sovereignty but also means successful business.”
As regards human resources, the Project Manager of INVAP pointed out “the lack of engineers, physicists, mathematicians, meteorologists, astronomers, etc.” and the fact that “in our country, unemployment in these fields is zero.” He added that the lack of highly skilled human resources “is a worldwide problem”, and highlighted “the programs aiming to the comeback of Argentine scientists now living abroad and the invitation to foreign specialists to come to Argentina.”
“In the past, manpower shortage in this sector went unnoticed; today, there are vacant positions for these professionals,” Calderón said, and added that “according to the information provided by the National Ministry of Education only 3.5 % of the annual university graduates are engineers, in contrast with 50 % of lawyers, accountants, economists and physicians.”
Calderón explained that a country looking for “its nuclear self-sufficiency has a long-term view” since “these projects take 50 or 60 years to be completed” and “this implies to make decisions affecting many generations.”
After a review of the tenders won abroad by INVAP to manufacture satellites or platforms —an area in which the national company has a respected track record in the world market— Calderón stressed that “what provides value added is technological mastery in a specialized field” and this is precisely the reason why Argentina is well regarded abroad.
The expert, whose technical career spans almost 20 years, ranked Argentina number one in the regional aerospace and nuclear energy production, and Brazil number one in the aeronautical field.