UK-BR year of Science and Innovation concludes with activities celebrating the UK-Brazil partnership

Programme includes a visit from Antarctica of a British Royal Navy scientific ship to Rio de Janeiro and a series of lectures by British scientific Nobel Prize winner, open to the public at Brazilian universities

The UK-BR Year of Science and Innovation ends its programme in April with an extensive schedule of activities including the visit of HMS Protector to Rio de Janeiro, the visit to Brazil of meteorology and climate trend expert Albert Klein-Tank, and a lecture series by the British Nobel Laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart.

The Year has successfully in achieving its objective of strengthening scientific collaboration between Brazil and the United Kingdom, including building bilateral mechanisms for financing research. Throughout the Year, over 60 events have been delivered in Brazil and the UK, including seminars, exhibitions, lectures, and business and academic missions to both countries.

“The UK-BR Year of Science and Innovation has been an excellent opportunity to build new partnerships and to strengthen and expand the many that we already have. Brazil and the United Kingdom share a passion for science and recognise the value of science, innovation and technology in tackling global challenges to improve the lives of people and to protect our environment”, said Vijay Rangarajan, the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Brazil. “Joint research, such as the Zika sequencing, between Fiocruz and the University of Glasgow, are important examples of how international co-operation in science can deliver real impact to help people in their daily lives. We are proud to be key partner for Brazil in science collaboration and look forward to continuing to build on our partnership in the future and many other bilateral collaborations. These are projects that make us proud of the partnerships built and want to continue working more and more with Brazil in this fascinating universe of science”.

On March 14, Ambassador Rangarajan announced that the Newton Fund had committed BRL $20 million for science programs between 2019-2021, creating exiting new opportunities for joint research with Brazilian research institutions and researchers.

Arrival of the British Royal Navy Ship

From this week, Píer Mauá will receive on March 28, HMS Protector from the British Royal Navy, which arrives in Rio de Janeiro after a period of activities in Antarctica. HMS Protector will be moored next to the Museum of Tomorrow in Mauá Square. At 5,000 tons, the ship has the capacity to break up blocks of ice up to 0.8 meters thick, which is why it is used in important expeditions around the Antarctic Peninsula, supporting governmental organisations in scientific and conservation research.

HMS Protector is an enormous enabler in the Antarctic for scientific study and research. We conduct high definition bathymetric surveys for the safety of mariners in the Antarctic and for research into glacial retreat. Our other vital role is in providing logistical support, ashore and afloat, to international science and research. It is a huge privilege to operate in Antarctica with such a capable Ship and her Royal Navy crew”, says the ship’s Captain, Matt Syrett.

On the 29th of March, the ship’s Captain, Matt Syrett and the British Ambassador to Brazil, Vijay Rangarajan, will receive guests for a closed event celebrating UK and Brazil co-operation on global challenges with the presence of the scientific community, contacts from the Brazilian Armed Forces and civil authorities from the federal, state and municipal spheres.

On Saturday 30th, visits free of entrance and open to the public onboard HMS Protector will take place, from 11am to 3pm. Entrance of groups to the ship, which is subjected to capacity, will happen according to the order of visitors’ arrival. Children of all ages are welcome. The ship will be docked at the Pier Mauá, at slots 37-43. Best access is through Mauá Square.

Met Office Conference at Museum of Tomorrow

With several partnerships in Brazil in the field of climate sciences, the Met Office, a British public agency responsible for meteorology through data processing and research, will offer a lecture given by the Director of the renowned Hadley Cell, Albert Klein Tank.

Recognised internationally in the field of climate services, Professor Albert Klein Tank was part of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands for 25 years and was in charge of Research Development on Data and Observation Technologies. Director of the Met Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Science & Services & Meteorology since 2018, Albert is also an Associate Professor in Climate Services at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands.

Open to the public, the lecture “Climate Change: Present and Future Risks for Brazil” will be held at the Museum of Tomorrow on April the 3rd at 10am. A specialist in a climate database, current and historical climate trends, the Professor will also outline climate change scenarios for the future and will try to explain the partnership projects with Brazil through government bodies such as INPE, INPA, and CEMADEM, called Climate Science for Service Partnership.

Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner in Brazil

The final events of the Year of Science and Innovation will be marked by the visit to Brazil of Nobel Prize winner, Sir James Fraser Stoddart. The Chemistry Laureate in 2016 will visit three capitals in Brazil (Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro) from April the 8th to the 10th, participating in the event Nobel Prize Inspiration Initiatives, in partnership with the British biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. He will give lectures and on stage interviews for students and scientists at the following institutions: University of Sao Paulo (USP), National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance (ANVISA), University of Brasilia (UNB) and National Cancer Institute (INCA).

Highlights and results from bilateral partnerships during the UK-Brazil Year of Science and Innovation

  • More than 60 events held throughout Brazil and the United Kingdom. As examples, collaboration with the National Research Council (CNPq) in the delivery of the National Young Scientist Award, a workshop on sustainable gas production and, more recently, an international conference to promote joint collaboration with Fiocruz Pernambuco in Zika virus sequencing.
  • Delivery of the Newton Prize, granted last year for the first time in Latin America. The Newton Prize worth R$1 million was given to finance the extension of one of the Newton Fund projects, which demonstrated impacts on science as a tool to promote economic development and social well-being. The winning project in Brazil was a joint initiative of the Centre for Indigenous Studies of Brazil and the University College London, entitled “Improving the life of the Guarani saving the Atlantic Forest”.
  • Launch of two new research centres in Brazil. The Shell Fapesp new Energy Centre will have subsidiaries in different Brazilian states and will lead joint projects in four selected areas: advanced energy; sustainable route for the conversion of methane with advanced electrochemical technologies; and computational materials for science and chemistry. Another centre, in Juiz de Fora (MG), is an agreement with the company Green Fuels for the launch of the Platform for Bio-kerosene and Renewables at Zona da Mata, which will help make Juiz de Fora the first city to have an integrated chain of production of biodiesel from solid waste. At the end of the chain, the product can be used as fuel for commercial airplanes.
  • University of York and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil: joint project to develop a completely sustainable synthesis of cyclic carbonates used as electrolytes in ion and lithium batteries.

Partnership in climate science for services between Met Office, INPA, INPE and CEMADEM