FAPESP and Microsoft Call for Proposals - 2017

Summary
Closing date for full proposals
December 11, 2017
FAPESP Scheme:
PITE Program
Maximum duration of the project:
up to 48 months
Submission:
Proposals must be submitted only through SAGe system
Contact at FAPESP
Patricia Tedeschi - chamada_microsoft@fapesp.br



INTRODUCTION

FAPESP and Microsoft invite interested researchers from public or private higher education or research institutions in the State of São Paulo to submit research proposals for funding under the cooperation agreement between FAPESP and Microsoft, and under the terms and conditions hereinafter set forth.

The purpose of this Call is to define the conditions for the submission of proposals for research projects that generate knowledge about computer vision and deep learning tools described below.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES

This Call for Proposals invites research proposals on computer vision and deep learning in the topics described below.

a) Background

Microsoft, through its research presence in Brazil in the form of its Advanced Technology Labs (ATL), wants to foment research in the areas of computer vision and deep learning. These areas are closely aligned with its research focus in Brazil, allowing a collaboration between researchers in the state of São Paulo and Microsoft´s researchers. Such collaborations are part of ATL mission to help research and innovation in one of the most exciting areas of artificial intelligence to achieve a meaningful societal impact.

FAPESP is a public foundation, funded by the taxpayer in the State of São Paulo, with the mission to support research projects in higher education and research institutions, in all fields of knowledge. The Foundation works in close contact with the scientific community: all proposals are peer reviewed with the help of area panels composed of active researchers. FAPESP maintains cooperation agreements with national and international research funding agencies, higher educational and research institutions and industry. Since 1997, FAPESP supports projects in partnership with industries. FAPESP University-Industry Cooperative Research (PITE) is developed through partnerships among research institutions in the State of São Paulo and companies of any size for the development of new products with high technological content or new productive processes. The projects are carried out under the responsibility of a Principal Investigator, associated with higher education or research institutions in the State of São Paulo. The selection is through a peer-reviewing system.

b) Objectives

The theme of interest agreed by Microsoft and FAPESP for this call for research is on computer vision and deep learning with application on urban mobility, public, industrial and infrastructure safety, and retail. Possible research topics include:

  • Computer vision theory

  • Action recognition from RGB video

  • Object Tracking

  • Crowd analysis

  • Object detection, recognition, segmentation

  • Human detection, recognition, re-identification

  • Video analytics

  • Real-time and computational efficient methods

It is expected that the proponent will collaborate closely with Microsoft researchers, including Microsoft research laboratory in Brazil, including visits to the Microsoft research laboratory in Brazil.


ELIGIBILITY

In order to qualify for this Call for Proposals in the FAPESP-Microsoft Agreement, the proponent must satisfy the following prerequisites:

a) Meet the conditions and terms of this CFP, including the completeness of documents, theme and budget adequacy.

b) Meet the conditions and restrictions of the FAPESP Program for Cooperative Research for Technological Innovation (PITE), described at www.fapesp.br/pite, excluding those restrictions and conditions explicitly excepted in this CFP;

c) The proposals must be submitted by researchers from Higher Education or Research Institutions in the State of São Paulo.


PROGRAM SCOPE, FUNDING AND DURATION

The total amount available for this CFP is R$4.500.000,00. FAPESP and Microsoft reserve the right to propose lower funding levels for projects and not to invest the entire amount for this particular call. The amount not used to fund proposals for this call will be used in future CFPs.

The appropriateness of the requested funding in relation to the proposal goals and qualification of the proposing team is a primary review consideration.

Project duration must be up to 4 years.


PROPOSAL FORMAT

The proposal should clearly state the problems and opportunities to be addressed and the potential impact if the research is successful. It should specifically address the quantifiable goals listed in this request for proposals and provide milestones reflecting the progress towards them.

Each proposal must contain the items described at the SAGe System, according to the instructions of Annex I (in Portuguese).

The list of documents that must be submitted is available at the SAGE System. The documents must be submitted in English, considering the following instructions.

FAPESP Curricular Summary, in English, for the PI and each Associate Researcher. Instructions for elaborating the Curricular Summary are available at www.fapesp.br/en/6351.

Research Team: List of all contributing researchers, in English. For each one, his or her role in the research project must be defined succinctly, as well as the weekly workload. Each participant must agree with his or her participation in the project via the SAGE system.

Research Proposals must be written in English and have 12 to 14 pages (not including bibliography and budget), containing the following sections.

1. Cover page {1 page}. Title of the proposal, name(s) of author(s), contact information, name of university/research institute, funds requested.

2. Executive summary {1 page}. Define the problem/challenge that this research will address, the technical objectives, success criteria, and the proposed approach.

3. Relevance and impact claims {1-2 pages}. This section is the centerpiece of the proposal. It should succinctly describe the uniqueness and non-incremental benefits of the proposed objective and approach relative to the state-of-the-art and current approaches.

4. Detailed technical rationale, approach, and constructive plan {3-5 pages}. Details of the proposed research. Proposals should address key issues along one or more of the above research themes (or another topic still addressing program objectives and goals), and the rationale should include a basis of confidence for meeting the program objectives. Proposals should provide indication of how they intend to manage the data produced during the project (where the term “data” is taken on the large, and includes files, algorithms, software, samples, models, pedagogical material, and others).

5. Statement of work, schedule, milestones, success criteria and deliverables {2 pages}. Outline the scope of the effort including tasks to be performed, schedule, milestones, deliverables, and success criteria. It is understood that this is an exploratory research effort and schedules/deliverables reflect intentions rather than a firm commitment.

6. Proposal team {1-2 pages}. Describe the team member qualifications with respect to the research goals, their level of participation in the project, as well as previous experience in collaborative projects.

7. Other support {1 page}. List other contributions by the Host Institution to this project (cash, goods, or services), if any, but not including items such as the use of university facilities otherwise provided on an ongoing basis. Note that authors of selected proposals will be required to present an original letter on university letterhead signed by the director of the Host Institution certifying the commitment of any additional support.

8. Bibliography {unlimited}

Requested Fellowships {unlimited} . The proposed budget may include costs for Technical Training (TT), Scientific Initiation (IC), and Masters fellowships. The ending dates for each fellowship must be at or before the ending date of the project. For each requested fellowship, a work plan of two pages must be submitted together with the research proposal. Work plans must include: Title for the Fellowship research project, Problem/Challenge to be addressed, Methodology, and Expected Results. It is not necessary to nominate the holder of the fellowship. If the grant is approved, the Principal Investigator will oversee organizing a public selection process to select the appointees for the fellowships through a merit review process. TT fellowships must contain the information requested in fapesp.br/tt.

Requested budget description {unlimited} . Proposals must include a budget justifying each of the requested items, which can be any of the ones described in www.fapesp.br/1656. The budget must include the total amount of the project. It is not necessary to separate the requested budget between FAPESP and Microsoft. It is preferred that most expenses will be related to fellowships.

IMPORTANT: It is necessary to attach three quotes for each requested equipment expense (national or imported). If it is not possible to obtain the requested 3 quotes, please attach a clarification letter.

Consolidated budget: proposals must include the consolidated budget fully completed, including the institutional support. Proposals that does not present the institutional commitment in the consolidated budget will not be received by FAPESP.


PROPOSAL SUBMISSION

Proposals that are incomplete, inaccurate, or are otherwise not responsive to the terms and conditions of this CFP will be excluded from consideration.

Proposals must be submitted via SAGE and will not be accepted by any other means.

No proposals will be accepted after the closing date for submission, nor will any addendum or explanation be accepted, unless those explicitly and formally requested by FAPESP or Microsoft.


EVALUATION CRITERIA

All received proposals adherent to the terms of this Request for Proposals will be analyzed.

The selection process is based on merit peer-reviewing. To this end, FAPESP will use reviewer reports and the Foundation’s Area and Supervising Panels.

The criteria used will be that applied to the selection of proposals in the FAPESP Program for Cooperative Research for Technological Innovation (PITE), with the addition of the analysis by the Joint Steering Committee for the FAPESP-Microsoft cooperation, which will include scientists from Microsoft.

Researchers who submitted proposals will not take part in the analysis and selection process.

The evaluation criteria for this solicitation are as follows:

a) Adherence to the terms of this CFP;

b) Novelty and Ambition of the proposed research project, as it relates to the goals of this CFP;

c) Qualification of the research project, in the specification of clear goals, milestones, and success criteria. Clarity of challenges to be overcome and the scientific, technical and material means and ways for this, in relation to the state-of-the-art in the field, including interface definitions, testing methodology, and plans for experimental deployment;

d) Adequate existing institutional infrastructure, offered by the Hosting Institution;

e) Qualifications of Principal Investigator and his or her team, including previous history of work in areas relevant to this CFP, successful completion of previously funded projects, teaching awards, developed software, and publications, all of those items being demonstrated in the team members´ Curricular Summaries;

f) Ability to carry out the project, including the adequacy of available resources, institutional support, reasonableness of timelines, and number and qualifications of identified contributors. It encompasses the efficient use of requested resources and funding, and represent realistic results for the value invested;

g) Potential for scientific impact and wide dissemination and use of the intellectual property created, including specific plans for publications, conference presentations, web sites, open source code distribution, open data sets publication, as well as plans to distribute content in multiple formats or languages;

h) Education of human resources for research and innovation, as a result of the execution of the Project;

i) Potential for technological innovation. The extent to which the proposal’s problem formulation and key approaches are innovative, important, and relevant to the problem at hand. Novelty and ambition of the proposed research project, as it relates to the goals of this CFP. Potential for technological innovation as measured by comparisons with existing and competing technologies.

j) Potential contribution and relevance to Microsoft. The estimated degree to which proposals have a substantial potential for influencing the direction of Microsoft long term technology plans as well as the scientific and technological development of the State of São Paulo.


SCHEDULE

Event

Date

Launching of the CFP at FAPESP Web site

September 18, 2017

Last date for receiving proposals

December 11, 2017

Publication of results of the analysis and selection process

May 11, 2018


ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS

The results of the selection process will be announced at the FAPESP Web Site and via direct communication to the proponents.

CANCELLATION OF THE AWARD

The award may be cancelled by Microsoft and FAPESP by mutual agreement, in the event of justifiable cause, on the basis of evaluation by the Scientific Directors of FAPESP and Microsoft. Cancellation does not preclude other measures that might be deemed necessary. 

GRANTS, PROGRESS ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION

If the application is approved, a Grant Contract will be made, which will be signed by the Principal Investigator, Microsoft and the Host Institution´s representative.

The results will be evaluated by progress reports and financial reports that should be submitted on the dates established in the Grant Contract. 

AGREEMENT TO TERMS AND CONDITIONS

By submitting an application under this CFP, applicants confirm that they have read, understood and agreed to the terms and conditions of the CFP and the conditions attached to any successful awards.
 

INFORMATION AND CLARIFICATION

All questions related to this CFP must be directed to: Patricia Tedeschi - chamada_microsoft@fapesp.br

Please, put “CFP FAPESP-MICROSOFT” in the subject line of your e-mail to ensure a prompt and proper response. 

 



Anexo I – Instruções específicas sobre o uso do SAGe

1. É necessário que o Pesquisador Responsável pela proposta seja cadastrado no sistema SAGe:

(i) Pesquisadores que não possuem cadastro no SAGe devem inicialmente realiza-lo acessando a página do SAGe no endereço www.fapesp.br/sage, clicar em Sem cadastro? e preencher os dados solicitados. Não basta apenas cadastrar-se como usuário, é necessário completar os dados cadastrais;

(ii) Pesquisadores do Estado de São Paulo, já cadastrados, devem realizar o login no SAGe com identificação e senha usuais para acessar a página inicial do sistema.

2. Na página inicial, selecionar, dentre as opções do menu “Acesso Rápido – Atividades do Pesquisador”, o link Nova Proposta Inicial;

3. O sistema disponibilizará na página seguinte o menu “Incluir Proposta – Selecionar Linha de Fomento”, selecionar o link Microsoft - PITE / Chamada de Propostas (2017) em Chamadas Vigentes;

4. Selecionar a opção Chamada de Propostas (2017) e a partir daí incluir os dados solicitados em todas as abas, inclusive a lista de documentos a serem anexados;

5. Atenção para a obrigatoriedade de preenchimento de todos itens marcados com “ * “. É necessário submeter a proposta ao final do preenchimento. Proposta salva não significa proposta submetida. Ao submeter corretamente uma proposta será gerado um número de processo;7. No caso de dúvidas, na página inicial do SAGe pode ser usado o link Manuais e, na página Manuais, buscar esclarecimentos na lista Manuais de Apoio aos Pesquisadores.