Antes de uma fundação, um conceito: um estudo sobre a disciplina jurídica das fundações de apoio na cooperação entre universidade e empresa

Schapiro, Mario Gomes
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The growing presence of legal entities under the private law regime exercising functions and activities usually performed by legal entities under the public law regime has been presenting relevant challenges to the study of Law. The work of the Support Foundation in the assistance to Brazilian Federal Public Universities is an example. From a spontaneous phenomenon, barely regulated by Law no. 8.958/1994, they transformed into a diversified universe, in which their acting before Federal Institutions of Higher Education is questioned. When performing public functions and activities of aid to Federal Universities, they utilize budget public resources and from funding agencies. The questioning of the requirement of such entities to undertake the prior bidding process for hiring third parties in their support activities to the Federal Universities, the need of compliance with the rules of return of public funds to the National Treasury!s Single Account, and the possibility of hiring staff without public tenders to work in assistance activities are part of the controversies faced by the present work. This study aimed to reflect on this phenomenon from three fronts, a proposal to analyze the phenomenon of foundations, in which support foundations are understood as intermediary organizations between universities and companies, a survey of the main issues of compatibility between the system of public law and the activities of foundations in the context of assistance on technological development to the Federal Public Universities, and lastly, the study of a case where there is compatibility between a model of support foundation and the system of public law, the Institutional Support Foundation for Scientific and Technological Development (FAI), from Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCAR). We propose a specific focus for the study of the assistance performed by support foundations, characterizing them as intermediary organizations of cooperation between universities and companies, for we believe that, given the significant number of changes in the role of research universities in industrial production, a new understanding of the form of intermediation is required for comprehending the role and mission of Research Universities in the country's economic development. Universities, as well as forming of skilled labor and knowledge generation, are becoming centers of creation of technology, approximating the industry, replacing, in part, the old departments of research and development of domestic industries, while also play a part in facilitating the generation of innovative companies, creating business incubators and facilitating the exchange between teachers and technicians and professionals of the industrial matrix of countries. In Brazil, this transformation is faced with an important gap. The country, through its public universities acts as a producer of knowledge, with a significant number of international academic publications. However, Brazil has failed to convert this knowledge into industrial application in technological innovation, as measured by patenting and technology transfer to industry. Secondly, the innovation law (Law No. 10.973/2004), as the first attempt to develop ways to reduce such gap, created legal instruments to authorize the cooperation between Federal Public Universities and National Companies, placing the support foundations as intermediating the relationship between University and Business, alongside with Innovation Centers. The Law on the one hand, was able to create the legal instruments for the lawful cooperation between the Public University and National Company, however, failed to face significant legal issues, besides the questions about the application of public law regime in the intermediation conducted by support foundations, also did not define the role of such support foundations in the capture and management of technology projects, or management of intellectual property and its relationship with the Innovation Centers, or participation in the formation of innovative companies through the process of business incubation in Federal Universities. It was the National Court of Audit, as an organ of control of the use of public funds, the principal place of debate on the legal disputes involving the relationship between Support Foundations and Federal Universities. In our view, the Court in Decision No. 655/2002, began a process of reconciling the work of the support foundations and the system of public law, by defining support foundations related to development and technology transfer projects from Federal Universities as intermediary organizations. However, it regressed in in Judgment No. 2.731/2008, by broadly defining the concept of public resources and recommend to the Ministries of Education and Science and Technology to prohibit the direct transfers of resources from Funding Agencies to Support Foundations at the federal level. The FAI example is paradigmatic of the, as not only is a case that reinforces our assessment that there may be compatibility between the system of public law and the activities of support foundations, but also suggests solutions of institutional design solutions relevant to the debate on regulation of support foundations at the federal level. FAI, as a foundation for the Federal University of Sao Carlos is able to fulfill with the potential of a foundation to contribute to the technological development of Federal Public Universities, since it functions as an 'alter ego' of UFSCAR, a positive double, carrying out activities that, if performed by the University would not have been equally fast, or even would not be conducted.

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