Science for Brazil (Reino Unido)

UK’s Universities and Science Minister Willetts hails growing ties with Brazil

Publicado em 25 setembro 2013

Britain’s Universities and Science Minister Rt Hon. David Willetts MP will announce that Britain and Brazil are to forge stronger scientific links, when he addresses a conference at London’s Royal Society hosted by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) on 25th September.

In his keynote speech to the FAPESP Week conference being held 25th-27th September, Willetts is to acknowledge Brazil’s rising position in research rankings, and emphasize the importance of UK-Brazil cooperation.

Addressing the FAPESP Week conference being held 25th-27th September, Willetts will emphasize the importance of UK-Brazil cooperation. It is estimated in a report commissioned by Willetts’ own department, that higher education links with Brazil are already worth over £200m to the UK economy.

“Brazil has a growing reputation for developing cutting edge research, particularly in life sciences where there are huge growth opportunities” said the minister. “It’s essential that the UK works closely with colleagues from Brazil to maximise this potential.”

Willetts said the conference would: “bring the brightest minds from both countries together, allowing scientists to create networks that could make a huge difference for years to come.”

At the FAPESP Conference speech, FAPESP’s Scientific Director, Professor Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, is to say: “We are delighted that Minister Willetts will be attending the FAPESP Week symposium to deliver the keynote speech. São Paulo has a thriving environment for research and development. Now, we’re seeing an intensification of international research collaboration, and this will be decisive for the economy.”

Additional to the keynote speech Prof Brito Cruz will be announcing important bilateral research agreements with BG Group and two of the UK’s top universities.

BGGroup’s local subsidiary BG Brasil and FAPESP are signing a US$20 million pact to fund a Research Centre Gas Innovation associated with leading universities in São Paulo state. Each partner will invest US$ 10 million over a five-year period.

Key subjects of research by the new Centre will include: clean energy consumption to mitigate generation of greenhouse gases; developing natural gas as fuel for shipping; improved engineering techniques for gas production; and the conversion of gas into chemical feedstocks including hydrogen.

By 2025, BG Group still plans to invest US$1.5 – 2 billion in research and development in Brazil, despite its recent surprise decision to pull out of bidding for important offshore oil assets near Brazil’s Santos Basin. It is going ahead with construction of a global Technology Centre near Rio de Janeiro. BG Group will be investing $9.5 million in a separate project to develop an ocean observation system. According to BG Brasil president Nelson Silva, BG will invest almost US$ 30 milion in R&D during 2013.

Manchester University is signing a £100,000 cooperation agreement with Brazil’s leading scientific research funding agency FAPESP, to promote research links between the UK and the state of São Paulo. The five-year agreement will make it easier for UK researchers to work alongside colleagues from Brazil’s top-ranked universities. Each party will contribute £50,000 to fund calls for proposals across a range of science disciplines. Researchers at Brazilian universities sponsored by FAPESP are already working very closely with experts from the University of Manchester to study the way Amazonia affects global climate change. The new deal will usher in fruitful cooperation on a much wider range of scientific disciplines.

London University’s Imperial College is also inking a two-year agreement with FAPESP. Researchers at Brazilian universities sponsored by FAPESP are already working very closely with experts from Imperial College on issues such as biofuels and food security.

Together with the British Council, FAPESP was set to announce a whole raft of scientific awards and new agreements with UK counterparts. As wel as thenew programmes with the universities of Manchester, Cambridge and Imperial College, FAPESP is eyeing new link-ups with Nottingham, Birmingham , Keele and York.

Separately, FAPESP and the British Council announced funding for seven information-sharing workshops, and for eight paired postgraduate programmes at universities in the UK and Brazil.