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A decade of research and innovation: BBSRC to celebrate UK-Brazil partnership at FAPESP Week London

Copyright: Ruskpp/iStock/Thinkstock
News from: São Paulo Research Foundation

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research (BBSRC) Council, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is delighted to be joining the Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) to celebrate FAPESP Week London, part of the UK-Brazil Year of Science and Innovation 2018-2019.

UKRI’s Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, will be delivering a keynote address and speaking at the opening ceremony, alongside Fred Arruda, Ambassador of Brazil to the UK, and Marco Antonio Zago, President of FAPESP.

The week, beginning Monday 11 February, aims to strengthen links between researchers from Brazil and the UK, promoting partnerships in research, innovation, and industry. It will also celebrate the achievements of the UK-Brazil partnership, and the world-leading research and innovation that comes as a result.

FAPESP is one of the major funding agencies for scientific research in Brazil, and Brazil is the second most frequent collaborator in international programmes with BBSRC.

Tim Willis, Associate Director International at BBSRC, said:

“This week is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the ground-breaking work we are able to achieve through sustained international collaboration. The partnership between BBSRC and FAPESP has led to cutting-edge research across biotechnology, bioenergy, and biosciences, and I look forward to celebrating these achievements with our Brazilian partners and plan future collaborative activity.”

Main topics of discussion will include bioscience and drug discovery, health and ageing, new energies, and water-food-energy nexus.

BBSRC-funded researchers will be speaking across the two days, including:

Patrick Varga-Weisz, University of Essex, Colchester and Babraham Institute, Cambridge: Chromatin dynamics and host-microbe interactions in the intestinal epithelium

Timothy Bugg, The University of Warwick: Bacterial enzymes for lignin degradation: generating renewable chemicals from lignin

Sacha Mooney, University of Nottingham: NUCLEUS: a virtual joint centre to deliver enhanced nitrogen use efficiency via an integrated soil-plant systems approach for the UK and Brazil

In recognition of this partnership a Memorandum of Understanding between UKRI and FAPESP was signed in 2009 and renewed in 2015. This was signed in order to welcome, encourage and support collaborative applications that may cut across their national boundaries and involve international collaborative teams. Since signing this agreement, BBSRC has funded 60 research projects to allow UK researchers to collaborate with FAPESP-funded scientists.

The full agenda can be found on FAPESP

For additional details on the FAPESP awards, FAPESP Pump Priming Award

To review the UK Research and Innovation: UKRI-FAPESP Memorandum of Understanding



Founded in 1962, the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) is one of Brazil’s most important science and technology funding agencies. Maintained by the transfer of 1% of the state’s tax revenue, FAPESP selects and supports research projects submitted by scientists affiliated with higher education and research institutions in São Paulo State in all knowledge areas - sciences, technology and engineering, as well as the arts and humanities.

Projects are selected by peer review based on assessments by Brazilian and foreign researchers not associated with FAPESP. The Foundation also supports research in areas considered strategic through programs on such themes as biodiversity, global climate change, and bioenergy.

In 2017 FAPESP disbursed R$1.1 billion, equivalent to $514.6 million in purchasing power parity (PPP), to fund scientific and technological research projects.

UK-Brazil Year of Science

The UK Brazil Year of Science & Innovation 2018/19 is a yearlong celebration between the UK & Brazilian government of existing science and innovation partnerships including under our £75 million Newton Fund, Prosperity Fund and International Climate Fund on agritech, energy, life sciences and climate. Linked to the UK’s Industrial Strategy and clean growth Grand Challenge, the year also aims to foster new sector deals including joint public-private partnerships in energy and life sciences. Events will include an energy showcase, a series of British Nobel Science Laureate lectures, life sciences debates, Famelab science popularisation and Women in Science events and four new energy centres launched between Shell and FAPESP - the State of São Paulo Research funding agency.

UK Research and Innovation

UK Research and Innovation is a new body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas.

Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the Arts and Humanities Research Council; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; Economic and Social Research Council; Innovate UK; Medical Research Council; Natural Environment Research Council; Research England; and Science and Technology Facilities Council.


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by government, BBSRC invested £469 million in world-class bioscience in 2016-17. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

More information about UK Research and Innovation.
More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes.


UK Research and Innovation Media Office

Tags: UKRI UK-Brazil press release FAPESP