Creation and Structure of FAPESP Versão em português
The beginning in two rooms in the School of Medicine
The State of São Paulo Research Foundation was formally established in 1960 (State Law 5.918, of 18.10.1960) and effectively began to operate in 1962 (Decree 40.132, of 23.05.1962). However, its existence was foreseen in the 1947 State Constitution, thanks to a group of professors and laboratory workers led by Adriano Marchini and Luiz Meiller.
The São Paulo Charter established in its Article 123: "Support for scientific research will be provided by the State by means of a Foundation, organized along lines to be established by law".
It further stated: "Annually, the State will contribute to this Foundation, as special income for its private administration, a sum not less than half of one per cent of its ordinary receipts".
The constitutional definition of the Foundation's own budget, based on the transfer of 0.5 per cent of the State's total tax revenue - a percentage later raised to 1 per cent, in the 1989 Constitution -, was the main instrument which secured the viability of FAPESP along the lines foreseen by its creators: an autonomous organization promoting research, agile in its decision-making, managed by specialists both highly qualified and directly committed to the objectives of scientific and technological development.
Add to this the State Government's decision to donate to the new Foundation at the time it began its operations, an initial sum of US$ 2.7 million for the creation of a productive endowment, and one grasps the fundamental origins of the highly successful FAPESP model.
Treasury resources have been handed over to the Foundation monthly since the Constitution of 1989 and with strict regularity. FAPESP's ordinary receipts, wisely administered, guarantee the stability of the regular lines of support for research and have enabled the creation of special programs, aimed at encouraging new areas of research as well as ensuring that specific difficulties in the State research system are overcome.
In its 41 years of operation, FAPESP has awarded more than 45 thousand fellowships and 35 thousand financial awards to research. The balance of these years of continuous investment clearly show that the Foundation has made a decisive contribution to the expansion and strengthening of scientific and technological research in the State of São Paulo, with considerable impact on its economic, social and cultural development.