The Research Council of Norway visits Brazil to strengthen R&D ties between the two countries

Andreas Quamme Nielsen, senior adviser at the department for petroleum research in the Research Council of Norway, has been present at Innovation Norway’s office in Rio for six weeks. In cooperation with Innovation Norway, Andreas has been working on a framework to establish joint calls between the Research Council of Norway and Brazilian federal funding agencies. Here he tells us a bit about his stay in Brazil.

Andreas Q. Nielsen from the Research Council of Norway and Rune Andersen from Innovation Norway.

Andreas Q. Nielsen from the Research Council of Norway and Rune Andersen from Innovation Norway.

What was your motivation for coming to Brazil?

The Research Council of Norway has a focus on international cooperation and Brazil is among the countries that receive extra attention. Agreements, or rather Memorandums of Understanding (MoU), have been signed by Brazilian and Norwegian ministries, and last year agreements were signed by the Research Council of Norway and the Brazilian federal agencies CNPq (Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) and Finep (Funding Authority for Studies and Projects). My main assignment here in Rio de Janeiro has been to work on the framework to establish joint calls with CNPq and Finep, as well as to learn as much as possible about the Brazilian system of public R&D funding.

Part of my personal motivation for coming to Rio was of course also that Rio certainly is the “Cidade Maravilhosa”. I was here very briefly last year, and I am very pleased that the Research Council gave me the chance to come here again. I also greatly appreciate that Innovation Norway in Rio facilitated my stay in Brazil and taught me about the Brazilian research and innovation system.

What have you done here?

I have worked a lot with Rune Andersen, who now works as consul for science and technology in a joint position between Innovation Norway and the Research Council. He has been present here in Brazil for several years and will be very much involved in developing the joint calls we are hoping to arrange. We have had meetings with both CNPq and Finep to develop the framework for joint calls, as well as with relevant research institutions and companies. It has been important for us to get some feedback from all of these players regarding the relevance of what we are working on.

How will the joint call be?

The main idea is to have people in Norway and Brazil developing a common project. The goal of the project could be to create new knowledge or develop new technology. The Research Council of Norway will support the Norwegian institutions/companies, and the Brazilian funding agency, Finep or CNPq, will support the Brazilian partners. We hope to establish separate calls with CNPq and Finep, but both of these calls would focus on challenges within the offshore petroleum industry.

Who will be able to apply for it?

In a joint call with CNPq, the eligible applicants for funding would belong to the R&D sector (research institutes/universities). A joint call with Finep would be open for applications from companies. The R&D sector may still play a role in a joint call with Finep, but the companies would be the ones who formally apply for funding.

Why is it important with a joint call with Brazil?

We have for several years seen that projects with funding from the Research Council of Norway have had a thematic focus on Brazil, or with research- or funding collaboration with Brazilian partners. We would like to stimulate this further, since there are several challenges and knowledge gaps that are relevant to address for both Norway and Brazil. Right now, there is a lot of focus on challenges within the offshore petroleum sector. There are also other thematic areas where cooperation between the two countries can take place. Last year, the Research Council of Norway published a “Roadmap for bilateral research cooperation” with Brazil. It serves as a guide to Brazil’s innovation and research system, and explains relevant areas where one can develop research collaboration. It is a useful document for both Norwegian and Brazilian institutions.

Innovation Norway is responsible for promoting the Norwegian industry abroad. Our office in Rio de Janeiro manages Innovation House Rio, our business incubator office, and helps Norwegian companies in their efforts towards the Brazilian market.

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