FAPESP Week in Germany will Discuss Collaborative Research with Brazil
Brazilian and German scientists will debate progress and partnerships in biotechnology, nanotechnology and photonics, energy and the environment in Munich.
Germany, a country with which Brazil has a long tradition of partnership in the scientific and technological fields, will host the next FAPESP Week on 15–17 October 2014. FAPESP Week will bring together researchers from both countries in Munich, the capital of the Free State of Bavaria.
This scientific conference is organized by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), one of the most important Brazilian agencies for research funding, together with the Bavarian University Centre for Latin America (BAYLAT). Researchers from both countries meet for three days at the Deutsches Museum, one of the most important museums in Germany, to discuss research in the areas of biotechnology, nanotechnology and photonics, energy and the environment.
Although the connection between researchers from the State of São Paulo and Germany is already strong, the symposium aims to further increase research cooperation and the number of German investigative projects with Brazilian universities and research institutes.
For this purpose, research projects funded by FAPESP will be presented. Together with their Brazilian colleagues, researchers from numerous German institutions will debate the key issues of these projects. Similarly, German scientists will present investigative work and research projects that are complementary to the FAPESP projects.
The aim of the symposium is to provide opportunities for researchers at institutions of higher education and research in São Paulo to share ideas with their colleagues in Germany and to develop joint lines of investigation in varied research areas that are relevant to both countries.
The symposium in Munich is part of the ongoing efforts of FAPESP to further internationalize the landscape of Brazilian research. To achieve this goal, the São Paulo Research Foundation has signed various agreements with international research institutions as well as research funding agencies and companies in countries that are known for their high-quality scientific and technological production.
Since 2011, FAPESP has organized scientific symposia of this format in Washington, Morgantown, Cambridge, Charlotte, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh (US), Toronto (Canada), Salamanca and Madrid (Spain), Tokyo (Japan), London (UK) and Beijing (China).
The History of Cooperation
Currently, FAPESP has cooperative agreements with three research funding institutions in Germany. The oldest of these agreements is with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and was signed in 1988. The agreement with the German Research Foundation (DFG) has been in force since 2006. The agreement with the Bavarian State Ministry of Education, Science and the Arts (StMWFK) was signed in 2012.
The President of FAPESP, Celso Lafer, believes that Germany is one of the major players in Brazilian scientific and technological development, and these partnerships in research and investigation are key.
“The institutions of higher education and research in the state of São Paulo have high potential to develop knowledge. This can be shown by the establishment of partnerships with Brazil and similar German institutions, which are among the most advanced in the world in terms of science and technology. The FAPESP Week in Munich strengthens the traditional links and especially reinforces and intensifies this cooperation, which is of strategic importance for institutions and researchers of both countries”, he notes.
Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, Scientific Director of FAPESP, emphasizes the importance of historical research partnerships with institutions of both countries. He says that for more than twenty years, FAPESP has maintained scientific cooperation with Germany and that the exchange of researchers and the promotion of joint projects are of high relevance for science. The FAPESP Week in Munich creates new opportunities for joint research projects and presents the options that exist in Bavaria and Germany and throughout Europe.
The event starts on October 15, in the foyer of the library of the Deutsches Museum with the opening of the exhibition “Brazilian Nature — Mystery and Destiny”, which addresses a publication on Brazilian biodiversity.
The President of the German Research Foundation (DFG), Peter Strohschneider, and the Coordinator of Engineering from FAPESP, Euclides de Mesquita Neto, will hold the opening section on October 16. There will also be presentations by the Vice President of the Max Planck Society, Ferdi Schüth, and the Scientific Director of FAPESP, which will provide a panoramic view of the science and technology that is produced in the state of São Paulo.
In the panel discussion on the topic “International Scientific Collaboration and Networking and Excellence in Universities – Good Practices”, that will be hosted by José Varela Arana, the Chief Executive Officer of FAPESP, the speakers will be: Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, Scientific Director of FAPESP; Raoul Klinger, Director of International Business Development of the Fraunhofer-Society; Enno Aufderheide, Secretary General of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; and Christian Müller, Director Department of Strategy and Knowledge Management of the DAAD.
Afterwards, researchers from both countries will give presentations on biotechnology, nanotechnology and photonics. The presentations in their research areas will include the topics of epigenetics, new drugs for degenerative diseases, innovation in cancer immunotherapy, nano-lasers, photonic crystals, nano-medicine and nano-particles. The first day of the conference will also involve the opportunity to discuss these research areas.
On October 17, the speakers’ presentations will focus on two areas: energy and the relationship between society and the environment. The lecturers’ topics include studies on renewable fuels, easing the energy matrices, genomic sequencing of biomaterials, sustainable rural development, the use of carbon, pesticides and waste.
Germany and Brazilian Biodiversity
The historic research partnership between scientists from the two countries is also reflected in the exhibition “Brazilian Nature: Mystery and Destiny”. The exhibition “Brazilian Nature” is a result of the partnership between FAPESP and the Botanical Museum Berlin and presents the documentary work of the German scientist Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius (1794–1868), one of the most outstanding naturalists of the nineteenth century and one of the main researchers of Brazilian flora.
The documentary work was produced by von Martius during his stay in Brazil, where he remained for three years and traveled more than ten thousand kilometers to various regions of the country. It was published between 1840 and 1904. Even 174 years after the publication of the first volume, this work remains the most comprehensive survey of Brazilian flora and continues to be used for the identification of plants from Brazil and South America.
The project “Flora Brasiliensis On-line e Revisitada” was created through the work of scientists. The update includes the nomenclature of the original work by von Martius and presents the species that he described in his release, new information and new pictures.
The exhibition also presents a comparison of plant illustrations from the nineteenth century with current photographs of plants and biomes and describes some of the results of the research in the “Flora fanerogâmica” project of the State of São Paulo and the BIOTA-FAPESP Program, which brings together research on the characterization, conservation, restoration and use of biological diversity in the state of São Paulo.
The exhibition was conceived on the basis of data from these three projects, all of which are funded by FAPESP. The exhibition consists of 37 panels, with reproductions of paintings, graphics and legends. In Germany, the exhibition has been presented in Berlin, Bremen, Leipzig, Heidelberg, Eichstätt and Erlangen before arriving at the Deutsches Museum in Munich.
The exhibition “Brazilan Nature” was also shown in Toronto (Canada), Washington, Cambridge, Morgantown, Charlotte, Raleigh and Chapel Hill (US), Salamanca and Madrid (Spain), Tokyo (Japan), London (UK) and Beijing (China).
In Munich, the exhibition will open for the public on October 15, in the foyer of the library of the Deutsches Museum. It will be on display until 6 January 2015. The panels of the exhibition can be viewed with subtitles in Portuguese, English, German, Spanish, Japanese and Mandarin: www.fapesp.br/publicacoes/braziliannature.
The Bavarian University Centre for Latin America (BAYLAT) is a state service center that operates across the Free State of Bavaria and was established by the Bavarian State Ministry of Sciences, Research and the Arts. BAYLAT is based at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. BAYLAT promotes connections between Bavarian and Latin American universities, institutions of higher education, academia and research.
BAYLAT connects higher education institutions in Bavaria and Latin America by promoting Bavarian universities at higher education fairs and scientific events in different countries of the region. BAYLAT provides information about scholarships and external funding opportunities for projects as well as expert advice on lines of research, study opportunities and possibilities for exchange and scientific cooperation with Latin America.
Furthermore, BAYLAT organizes scientific working meetings and offers financial support for Bavarian and Latin American students through its own funding and internship programs with the aim of promoting student exchange between Bavaria and Latin America.
BAYLAT also coordinates the program planning for official delegation trips of scientists and government representatives from and to Latin America. Likewise, BAYLAT runs workshops on intercultural skills and provides specialist lectures about Latin American countries at Bavarian universities and higher education institutions for students who are interested in exchange with Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico.
For more information, see www.baylat.org.
FAPESP, founded in 1962, is one of the main funding agencies for science and technology in Brazil and is funded by the transfer of 1% of the government tax revenue of the state of São Paulo. The Foundation works directly with the scientific community of São Paulo in all research areas through the support of selected research proposals on a peer review basis. This methodology uses the decisive opinions of Brazilian and foreign researchers as a basis for decisions on project funding.
Funding can be given to projects in all research areas, including technology, engineering, arts and humanities. FAPESP also finances research in areas of strategic importance to Brazil through programs in major subject areas such as biodiversity, climate change and bioenergy.
In 2013, the expenditure of FAPESP for the funding of research projects amounted to more than $481.51 million PPP (purchasing power parity). Of these, 52% was invested in research projects, including small companies, partnership projects between universities and companies, and the development of public policies. Another 39% of the expenditure was used for developing knowledge, whereas 9% was provided to infrastructure projects.
For more information, see www.fapesp.br/en.