Box 3 - Cooperation and Partnership between university and industry.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Federal University of Santa Catarina works in three important areas - fine mechanics, new materials and industrial automation and quality control. It has a support program for small and mid-size industries financed by Germany's Geselschaft für Technische Zusammarbeit, in an agreement with the Program of Human Resources in Strategic Areas of the Ministry of Science and Technology, and cooperates with the state's Secretary of Agriculture in the development of agricultural equipment prototypes, and in the development of environmentally safe agricultural technologies, which has also the support of the World Bank.

The Department has long-term contracts for research and development with many industrial firms, including Embraco, Portobello, Pirelli, Weg, Mannesman-Demaq, Braun-Boweri, Volvo, Bosch, Eletrosul, Copesp, CNEM and CTA. Such contracts account for about 90% of the department's research budget. Contract proposals are evaluated and priced by a permanent commission according to their technical interest. Profits from these contracts are applied to a fellowship research fund for undergraduate students. There were 234 such fellowships in 1991.

In 1984 the Department created a Regional Center for Technology Foundation (CERCI), and in 1991 it began a new project for local technological development, Tecnpolis. Both activities have the support of the state's Federation of Industries and of state and local governments. CERCI works as an "incubator" and since 1987 it generated six companies, and is nursing fifteen now. The State Development Bank of Santa Catarina opened a special line of credit to finance new technologically intensive companies, which receive also tax exemption or rebates from the state and local governments.

Based on Maria Helena M. Castro, forthcoming