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UK delegation to Brazil strengthens research links

22 June 2011

New ‘Brazil Partnering Awards’ will be available to BBSRC grant holders following a second day of meetings attended by a UK delegation to Brazil.

A new agreement between BBSRC and CNPq – the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development – to facilitate long term collaboration between top BBSRC funded scientists and their counterparts in Brazil was signed during a meeting at 1300hrs (BST) today (Wednesday 22 June 2011). Initially this will focus on priority areas identified by both parties i.e. Food Security and Bioenergy and Industrial Biotechnology.

The meeting was attended by UK Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts; Brazil's Minister of Science and Technology, Aloizio Mercadante; BBSRC Deputy Chief Executive, Steve Visscher; and representatives from CNPq. The agreement was signed by Steve Visscher and Glaucius Oliva, President of CNPq.

The ‘Brazil Partnering Awards’ follow successful BBSRC schemes with Japan, China, India, and the US (see related links). They will be open only to current BBSRC grant holders and will be run as a biennial call. Priority will be given to awards in the areas of Food Security, and Bioenergy and Industrial Biotechnology.

BBSRC and CNPq will offer up to £50,000 each for bilateral interactions and £100,000 each for large consortia, over a period of up to four years.

This follows yesterday's announcement of Pump–Priming awards to be jointly funded by BBSRC and FAPESP – São Paulo's State Research Council (see related links).

Professor Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive said “Partnerships are absolutely key to the delivery of BBSRC's strategic priorities. Excellent research thrives when collaborations transcend geographical boundaries and so international agreements such as these are extremely valuable.

“We are delighted to be strengthening our links with FAPESP and CNPq in Brazil and hope to build on the precedent set by existing partnerships between UK researchers and their Brazil counterparts.”



BBSRC is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences and the largest single public funder of agriculture and food-related research.

Sponsored by Government, BBSRC’s budget for 2011-12 is around £445M which it is investing in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life in the UK and beyond and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders, including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

BBSRC provides institute strategic research grants to the following:

  • The Babraham Institute
  • Institute for Animal Health
  • Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (Aberystwyth University)
  • Institute of Food Research
  • John Innes Centre
  • The Genome Analysis Centre
  • The Roslin Institute (University of Edinburgh)
  • Rothamsted Research

The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research.


Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299