Researchers talk to government and companies about challenges for research and innovation in Brazil
“The different institutions that are home to science and scientific development need to join forces and act in synergy in order to overcome today’s challenges.” These are the words of Álvaro Prata, the director of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, who will be taking part in the Seventh FGV Research Symposium, on September 12, 13 and 14, starting at 9:30 a.m., in the FGV Cultural Center in Rio de Janeiro. The event, which has the institutional support of the Ministry for Science, Technology and Information, will bring together public and private sector researchers and representatives to discuss the main challenges now facing Brazilian society.
The minister for science, technology and innovation, Luciana Santos, emphasizes how science can help society tackle its challenges. According to him, Brazil’s development on new technological foundations and its participation in the global economy while maintaining its sovereignty depend on a set of public policies capable of transforming knowledge into wealth through investments in science, technology and innovation.
“Our challenge is to accelerate the transfer of technology to generate products and services that meet the demands of society and our country, developing innovative solutions in strategic areas such as combating hunger, biodiversity, health, the energy transition and digital transformation,” the minister says.
Meeting of research and innovation institutions
During the symposium, research and innovation institutions with expertise in different areas of knowledge will take part in debates on topics of public interest. The president of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), Mario Moreira, stresses the importance of researchers in different fields working together to provide solutions that benefit society. “The challenges of today’s world require increasingly complex and multidisciplinary solutions,” he says.
Fiocruz, which is one of the supporters of the Seventh FGV Research Symposium, together with Euraxess and Queen Mary University of London, will be present at the debate titled “The Impact of Climate Change on Human Health,” which will take place on the third day of the event.
To add the perspective of the exact sciences to the discussions held during the symposium, the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics in Rio de Janeiro has also confirmed its presence. Its director general, Marcelo Viana, will participate in a debate called “The Impact of Science on Society and the Advancement of Knowledge,” kicking off the activities on the first day of the symposium. Viana believes that dialogue between mathematics and other areas of knowledge requires permanent efforts to find common languages.
“This is absolutely fundamental to realizing the full potential of science to understand the world around us, solve humanity’s problems and promote development,” Viana says.
The discussions that will take place at the symposium will also be attended by foreign researchers. Academics from Queen Mary University of London, who are already carrying out research in partnership with FGV and Fiocruz, are part of the event’s group of speakers.
“Taking part in the FGV Research Symposium will help strengthen our research partnerships. Working with FGV in recent years has shown us that our two universities are closely aligned in our visions for using our global research networks to generate social impact,” says Queen Mary University’s vice principal for humanities and social sciences, Frances Bowen, who will give a presentation on companies’ response to climate change.
Opportunity for carrying out research
One new development at this year’s symposium is that researchers from different institutions and in various fields of knowledge will have the opportunity to present research project proposals with the aim of building partnerships.
Rio de Janeiro Federal University is one of the institutions that will be participating in this session. It will also be represented by Professor Edson Watanabe of the university’s Institute for Engineering Graduate Studies and Research, who will moderate the “Research, Innovation and the Business World” and “Ethics and Integrity in Research” panels.
Rio de Janeiro Federal University’s president, Roberto Medronho, says, “When we join forces to think about the challenges and solutions of today and the future, we highlight the importance of promoting science in Brazil.”
Science for the development of society
Other topics to be debated during the symposium include “The Socioeconomic Impacts of Climate Change,” “Communication and the New Social Order,” and “Brazil’s Tax Reform and New Fiscal Framework.”
The event will also involve the University of Sao Paulo; Brazil’s national development bank (BNDES); the European Union Embassy in Brazil; and development agencies, such as the Sao Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP), the Rio de Janeiro State Research Foundation (FAPERJ), the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), the Brazilian Education Ministry’s graduate education support agency (CAPES), the Funding Agency for Studies and Projects (FINEP) and the National Council of State Research Foundations (CONFAP).
The symposium will also be attended by representatives of Brazil’s Foreign Ministry; the Brazilian office of the German International Development Agency (GIZ); startups; established companies; and state government secretariats.
“Today’s great challenges involve issues that are often conflicting and require broad and in-depth scientific knowledge in order to be addressed. Science must be the pillar on which we stand to move forward as a civilization, overcoming the challenges and seizing the opportunities that present themselves,” says the director of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Álvaro Prata.
FGV Cultural Center
186 Praia de Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro
To see the debates in full, check out the schedule and take part in the symposium by registering for free here.