FAPESP Week highlights the strength of research in São Paulo and in Lyon
Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, scientific director of FAPESP, and François Pellegrino, manager of the IdexLyon program, speak at the symposium about strategies for supporting scientific development.
By Heitor Shimizu, in Lyon | Agência FAPESP – On the first day of FAPESP Week France (11/21), at the University of Lyon, Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz (photo), scientific director of FAPESP, spoke about the science and technology system of the State of São Paulo and explained some of the characteristics of FAPESP’s support for research in the state.
“The State of São Paulo accounts for a third of Brazil’s gross domestic product, which means a larger economy than that of Argentina and a little smaller than that of Spain. São Paulo is a heavily industrialized region and has very important participation in Brazilian science and technology,” he said.
“Of the scientific articles with authors from Brazil, 43% are by researchers from the State of São Paulo. In 2017, universities in the State of São Paulo produced more than 7,000 PhD holders. Every year, the University of São Paulo, the biggest in research in Brazil, produces more than 3,000 PhD holders,” said Brito Cruz.
“In terms of research and development, the State of São Paulo has more than 169 organizations, including 73 higher education institutions, 43 research institutes, 73 technical schools, and 20 hospitals that conduct research,” he said.
Brito Cruz commented that São Paulo has around 17,000 innovative companies and, of the 74.3 thousand researchers in the state, 57% work in the private sector, in small, medium, and large companies.
“The State of São Paulo publishes more scientific articles than any country in Latin America and an important part of that production is supported by FAPESP, whose mission is to support research in all areas of knowledge,” he said.
Brito Cruz told the participants at the event in the French city that in 2018 FAPESP invested R$ 1.2 billion in supporting more than 24,000 research projects.
“All the research proposals received by the Foundation are submitted for peer review. In 2018, FAPESP received around 26 thousand proposals, which were analyzed in 70 days, on average, with a 41% success rate – a high proportion compared with any other research support agency in the world,” he said.
The scientific director also cited in his presentation FAPESP programs that support research conducted at universities and institutes in São Paulo in partnership with companies, such as the Research, Innovation, and Dissemination Centers (CEPID) and the FAPESP Innovative Research in Small Business Program (PIPE).
He also highlighted the Engineering Research Centers (ERCs). “This is a growing program, in which FAPESP forms partnerships with companies in order to jointly fund projects or research centers at universities or research institutes. Today we have 14 of these centers, in partnership with companies such as Peugeot-Citröen, Statoil, Shell, Equinor, GSK, and IBM,” he said.
Brito Cruz spoke about the importance of international collaborations for developing research in the State of São Paulo. FAPESP has cooperation agreements with around 180 organizations in dozens of countries. “We have agreements with a large portion of the most important research centers in the world,” he said.
In 2018, as part of these agreements, 37 calls for proposals were launched by FAPESP in partnership with 27 institutions abroad. In the same year, FAPESP signed 28 new agreements with institutions in other countries.
To encourage teaching and research institutions, creating centers of excellence in the country, the French government created Idex (Initiative D’EXcellence). Since 2011, three calls for proposals have been launched, resulting in the selection of 20 universities. The Lyon and Saint-Étienne region was chosen in 2017 to receive € 800 million over a 10-year period.
“IdexLyon is a program funded by the National Research Agency of France that allocates to the Lyon Saint-Étienne Avenir Program [known as Palse] of the University of Lyon around € 25 million a year to develop strategic academic initiatives, in research, training, and social, economic, and international partnerships,” said François Pellegrino, manager of the IdexLyon program, to Agência FAPESP.
“This investment has enabled the development of a series of initiatives centered on all scientific areas. The University of Lyon is a vast university in terms of scientific domains and we have programs in Human and Social Sciences, but also in Engineering, Health, and Physics and other areas,” he said.
Pellegrino also highlighted the importance of international collaborations for the IdexLyon program.
“We have developed international collaborations with various parts of the world, including with the State of São Paulo, and we are very interested in developing more partnerships and are open to proposals in this sense,” he said.
FAPESP Week France
France is one of the main international research partners in projects supported by FAPESP. The Foundation has cooperation agreements with 15 funding agencies, universities, research institutions, and French companies. More than 120 research projects have been approved through these agreements.
To celebrate the partnership and encourage new collaborations in a variety of areas of knowledge, FAPESP Week France is taking place from November 21st to 27th of 2019 in the cities of Lyon and Paris.
The symposium is being held until November 22nd at the University of Lyon, with the presentation of studies on the topics “Machine Learning and Data Science,” “Photonics,” “Atmosphere and Health,” “Particle Drift and Propulsion in Turbulent Flows,” “Philosophy,” “Urban Questions (Risks, Infrastructure, and Social Movements),” and “Insects, Control, Diseases, Environment, and Economic Impact.”
From November 25th to 27th, FAPESP Week France will be held at the University of Paris, with the topics “Amazon and Research on Climate,” “Psychology and Psychoanalysis,” “Earth Studies,” “Migration, Urban Mobility, and Urban Social Questions,” “Life Sciences,” and “Nanomaterials and Bionanomaterials.”
The presentations will be given by scientists from both French universities and from universities and research institutes in the State of São Paulo. In Lyon and Paris, roundtables will also be held to debate funding and international research collaboration strategies.
FAPESP Week France is an open and free event. Enrollments and more information at: www.fapesp.br/week2019/france.
Photo credit: Heitor Shimizu / Agência FAPESP