The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced Wednesday a loan of 24 million U.S. dollars to Argentina to train more professionals in the fields of science and technology. The Science and Technology Scholarship Program will help Argentines to pursue master's studies abroad, and for a growing number of companies and institutions to provide training for their employees at top international centers of higher education. The statement said financial and logistical support will be provided for master's programs at prestigious universities in countries with which Argentina has bilateral cooperation agreements, including Germany, Brazil, Canada, Spain, the United States, Finland, France, Italy and Mexico. The program will also finance scholarships for short-term training and for doctoral studies in priority fields in science and technology, with stays of up to nine months at prestigious academic or research centers in the United States or other participating countries, the IDB said. According to the bank, the program aims to fulfill a need for trained professionals in the productive sector, and will include cooperation agreements with firms and institutions to ensure that the scholarship recipients are employed in priority sectors and regions. The loan is repayable over a period of 25 years, with a five and a half year grace period and an interest rate based on the LIBOR. Argentina will contribute 2.6 million dollars to the program.