Researchers talk to government and companies about challenges for research and innovation in Brazil

VII FGV Research Symposium to be held September 12th to 14th at the Foundation's headquarters in Rio de Janeiro

"The different institutions that house science and scientific development need to join forces and act in synergy to overcome today's challenges". This was said by the director of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), Alvaro Prata, who will be taking part in the VII FGV Research Symposium on September 12th, 13th and 14th at the Foundation's Cultural Center. The event, which has the institutional support of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), will bring together researchers and representatives from the public and private sectors to discuss the main current challenges facing Brazilian society. 

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Luciana Santos, emphasizes how science can help society face its challenges. According to the Minister, Brazil's development on a new technological basis, and the country's sovereign insertion into the global economy, depend on a set of public policies capable of transforming knowledge into wealth, through investments in ST&I. 

"Our challenge is to accelerate the transfer of technology to generate products and services that meet the demands of society and the country, developing innovative solutions in strategic areas such as combating hunger, biodiversity, health, energy transition and digital transformation", said the Minister. 

Meeting of research and innovation institutions

During the Symposium, research and innovation institutions with expertise in different knowledge areas will participate in debates on public interest topics. The president of Fiocruz, Mario Moreira, reiterates the importance of researchers from different areas working together to provide solutions that benefit society: "The challenges of today's world require increasingly complex and multidisciplinary solutions," said the president. 

Fiocruz, which is also one of the supporters of the VII FGV Research Symposium, together with Euraxess and Queen Mary University of London, will be present at the debate on 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 dialogues promoted during the Symposium, the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics (IMPA) has also confirmed its presence, whose director-general, Marcelo Viana, discussed, together with other authorities, the Impact of Science on Society and the Advancement of Knowledge, during the round table that started the activities of the first day of the Symposium. Viana believes that the dialog between mathematics and other areas of knowledge requires a permanent effort 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," said Marcelo Viana. 

Global perspective

The dialogues that will take place within the Symposium will also include the presence of foreign researchers. Academics from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), who already carry out research in partnership with FGV and Fiocruz, are part of the group of speakers at the event. 

"Taking part in the FGV Research Symposium will help strengthen our research partnerships. Working with the Foundation over the last few years has shown us that our two universities are highly aligned in our visions for using our global research networks to generate social impact," said QMUL's Vice-Principal for Humanities and Social Sciences, Frances Bowen, who will give a presentation on the business response to climate change.

Opportunity for research development

A novelty at this year's Symposium is that researchers from different institutions, from a wide range of fields, will have the opportunity to present research project proposals with a view to building partnerships.  

Among the institutions taking part in this panel is the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). The University will also be represented by Professor Edson Watanabe, from the Alberto Luiz Coimbra Institute for Graduate Studies and Engineering Research (COPPE-UFRJ), who will mediate the panels "Research, Innovation and the Business Sector" and "Ethics and Integrity in Research". 

The dean of UFRJ, Roberto Medronho, said: "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 that will also be debated during the Symposium are: Socioeconomic impacts of climate change, Communication and the New Social Order, and Tax Reform and the New Fiscal Framework.  

The event will also include the participation of the University of São Paulo (USP), the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), the European Union Embassy in Brazil, funding agencies such as the São Paulo Research Foundation (Fapesp), the Rio de Janeiro Research Foundation (Faperj), the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (Capes), Financier of Studies and Projects (Finep) and National Council of State Foundations for Research Support (Confap). 

Also present are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Itamaraty), the organization GIZ Brasil, as well as startups, companies and state government departments. 

"Today's major challenges involve issues that are often conflicting and require broad and in-depth scientific knowledge to be addressed. Science must be the pillar on which we stand to advance as a civilization, overcoming the challenges and seizing the opportunities that present themselves," added ABC director Alvaro Prata. 

To see the debates in full, check out the program and take part in the Symposium by sign up for free here.