FAPESP and the Sustainable Development Goals

FAPESP and US National Science Foundation (NSF) announce partnership in all research areas

FAPESP and US National Science Foundation (NSF) announce partnership in all research areas

Agreement simplifies design of new instruments and tools for collaboration between researchers in São Paulo and the United States (photo: University of Tennessee, Knoxville/ERC-NSF)

Published on 04/24/2023

By Maria Fernanda Ziegler  |  Agência FAPESP – FAPESP and the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to encourage and support interaction in areas of mutual interest in science and technology by funding research projects undertaken jointly by researchers in São Paulo state and the US.

The MoU will be valid for five years and may encompass coordination of specific projects, programs and facilities as well as research and teaching activities.

“FAPESP and NSF have issued several joint calls for proposals in recent years, but this MoU constitutes an additional advance in their scientific collaboration. The agreement is unusually broad because it applies to all eight divisions of NSF and all areas of interest for FAPESP. It’s one of the most far-reaching and important agreements we’ve ever signed with another research funding agency,” said Marco Antonio Zago, President of FAPESP.

“NSF and FAPESP share a mutual commitment to the advancement of science and technology,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan in a press release published on the NSF’s website. “I look forward to the tremendous opportunities that will result from this collaboration between our like-minded organizations. With this new partnership, we will be able to create more opportunities for collaborative research, STEM education and training.” STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The MoU covers all knowledge areas and aims to facilitate the implementation of novel instruments for collaboration, partnerships and calls for proposals involving researchers in São Paulo and the US.

“Agreements of this magnitude don’t materialize overnight. They’re the result of a reputation achieved over decades and, more recently, a specific effort involving many contacts between FAPESP and NSF at different levels. In the case of this MoU, we had the benefit of clear objectives and reciprocity under the leadership of Panch [Sethuraman Panchanathan]. Our cooperation with the US will reach even higher levels of relevance and quality,” said Luiz Eugênio Mello, Scientific Director of FAPESP.

Joint agenda

Both institutions are now working to identify initial areas of interest and develop new collaboration proposals for presentation. Several initiatives are expected to be launched in 2023, and an agenda of joint activities will be rolled out in the coming years.

A near-term initiative is a call issued by NSF in partnership with the FAPESP Research Program on Biodiversity Characterization, Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Use (BIOTA-FAPESP) for proposals to investigate the impact of climate change on living organisms.

This call is part of an existing collaboration agreement between BIOTA and NSF’s biodiversity division. The MoU extends it to all areas and allows for the possibility of further calls involving research cooperation.

Also in the pipeline is a series of workshops to be held in São Paulo to develop a program that will strengthen the ties between FAPESP’s Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) and Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers (RIDCs) and NSF’s Engineering Research Centers.

FAPESP is also interested in inviting members of NSF’s mathematical and physical sciences division to take part in a future quantum technology program. Another priority will be sharing of experiences by FAPESP’s Innovative Research in Small Business Program (PIPE) and NSF’s Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). 

The MoU gives scientists based in São Paulo the opportunity to take part in collaborative research proposals with US scientists. The model is the same as FAPESP’s agreement with the main UK science funding agency, under which joint proposals are submitted by pairs of researchers in the two countries and each is funded by the respective agency. These projects are much larger than they could be in isolation.

For more about the MoU, visit: fapesp.br/6517.


Source: https://agencia.fapesp.br/41207