DEMETER represents EU agri-tech at Brazil-EU Cooperation Conference

An online conference ‘Fostering STI twinning activities between EU and Brazil’ took place on Friday 22nd May. The aim of this conference was to present CT&I projects that are being carried out through cooperation and sectorial dialogue between the European Union and Brazil. The conference brought together scientists and Brazilian and European authorities who are developing ST&I policies and research through the close bilateral relationship between the parties.

The conference presented synergies between six pairs of identified projects comprising areas of agriculture, energy and environment, as well as diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines to Covid-19. The objective was to advance in further concrete collaboration tackling jointly common challenges. All EU projects are funded by the EU Programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020. The three Brazilian National Institutes of Science and Technology (INCTs) are funded by CNPq and the State Funding Agencies from Amazonas, Rio Grande do Sul e Paraná, while the Brazilian Covid-19 projects are funded by FINEP and the State Agencies from Minas Gerais and São Paulo.

Kevin Doolin, DEMETER Project Coordinator and Director of Innovation at TSSG, was invited to present on the agriculture research in Europe with a particular focus on the H2020 funded DEMETER project. This presentation highlighted how the project of over 60 partners, including the World Farmers Organisation, aims to build an interoperable, data-driven, innovative & sustainable agri-food sector in Europe. The project’s objectives and collaboration possibilities were presented and the expected impacts outlined.

Speaking about the conference, Kevin said, ‘The opportunity to present our research to peers in Brazil was welcomed by the DEMETER team. Projects such as this succeed when results reach a wide audience which encourages more users to adapt to the new technology or innovation being created.’

The online conference was endorsed by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC) and the Directorate General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) of the European Commission and implemented under the Foreign Policy Instrument (FPI) of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

FPI is focusing to reinforce the strategic partnership between the EU and Brazil based on the principles of reciprocity, complementarity and mutual interest. It promotes the exchange of knowledge, experiences and best practices at technical and political level in policy areas of interest for both sides.

Twinning of ongoing projects is also one of the cooperation modalities foreseen in the Administrative Arrangement, signed by European Commission DG-Research & Innovation and the Brazilian agencies: National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), the Brazilian Funding Agency for Studies and Projects (FINEP) and the Brazilian National Council of State Funding Agencies (CONFAP).

This conference preceded networking and matchmaking events to be organised by the European Union with international partner countries to promote collaboration among research projects and programmes engaged in Covid-19, and covering vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics and societal aspects. The contribution of this conference between Brazilian and European researchers was an excellent basis and a first step to enhance and enlarge the bilateral scientific cooperation with new developments and projects.

Participants of the conference included senior research and innovation representatives from Brazil and the European Commission including: Astronauta and Minister Marcos Pontes (MCTIC); Ignacio Ybáñez – Ambassador of the European Union to Brazil; Maria Cristina Russo – Director for International Cooperation, General Directorate for Research and Innovation of the European Union (DG RTD); Marcelo Morales – Secretary for Research and Development Policies (MCTIC); Bernardo Milano – Director of the Department of International Affairs and Cooperation (MCTIC); Maria Zaira Turchi – Director of the Department of Research Infrastructure and Policies for Training and Education in Science (MCTIC); Achilles Zaluar – Ambassador and Director of the Department of Technological Promotion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Evaldo Vilela – President of CNPq ; Waldemar Barroso – President of Finep, and Fábio Guedes – President of Confap and Fapeal .

Please click here for more information on the conference and for access to the presentations.