Experiences from researchers in the bilateral cooperation between Sweden and Brazil

Semida Silveira, Kenneth Persson and Magnus Carlquist are examples of researchers building bridges between Brazil and Sweden in the area of research and innovation. OSI Brasília will take this opportunity to present researchers that are working...

Semida Silveira, Kenneth Persson and Magnus Carlquist are examples of researchers building bridges between Brazil and Sweden in the area of research and innovation. OSI Brasília will take this opportunity to present researchers that are working with Brazil in different fields like sustainability, bioeconomy and water management.

Semida Silveira

I am a professor in Energy Systems Planning at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). Between 2007 and 2019, I led the Energy and Climate Studies (ECS) group at the Department of Energy Technology with focus on energy, climate and sustainable development. Presently, I am a consultant through my company Sustainable Vision – Global Ventures AB. The twenty-year-old company, Sustainable Vision, started based on my conviction that we can transition towards sustainability during my lifetime. After acting as academic for a long time, developing Swedish Brazilian cooperation, now I want to move from knowledge creation to knowledge utilization. I want to support the implementation of initiatives and joint platforms to take this bilateral cooperation to the next level.

Cooperating with Brazil is quite natural to me as I have strong roots in Brazil. My efforts started during my PhD in the late 80s. There are challenges to overcome in both Brazil and Sweden. First, it was important to find common strategic goals that fit the two countries agendas. Fortunately, there is today a strong global agenda around many topics, for example, climate and sustainable development goals, in which both Brazil and Sweden are engaged. This global agenda provides a good framework. On the practical side, however, it has been a long learning process to create understanding and adjust procedures on how to operate joint projects. We have made great progress but there is still work to do in smoothening the pathway from idea to joint project.

We have made great progress strengthening the cooperation between Sweden and Brazil in the past decades. We have brought together many new players and we are creating new initiatives and business. I believe we have a good foundation in place, which gives us opportunity to expand the cooperation exponentially in the decades to come.

Magnus Carlquist

I am a researcher in applied microbiology at Lund university. My research interest is to study cell metabolism and physiology of industrial microorganisms, and to develop methods that can be used to more rapidly identify and engineer new microbial strains and fermentation processes used for bio-production.

Researchers in both Sweden and Brazil are highly active in bio-refinery research and higher education that aim at solving challenges associated with the 17 sustainable development goals from the Agenda 2030. An important part of this work is the development of robust industrial microbial processes for economically and environmentally sustainable production of chemicals. Replacement of fossil raw material as source of commodity chemicals by CO2-neutral alternatives is also needed for fulfilling obligations stated in the Paris climate accord within the United Nations framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC).

Since many years my research group have an excellent collaboration with Prof. Nádia Skorupa Parachin at the University of Brasília (UnB), and recently we have started a new collaboration with Dr. Priscila Oliveira de Giuseppe at CNPEM in Campinas. Focus of our joint research projects are on microbial and enzymatic catalysis applied to lignocellulosic bio-refineries in Sweden and Brazil. The collaborations involve both research and teaching in higher education and is based on mutual research interests and complementary competence. The cooperation between our research groups have been working excellently with a tone of mutual respect and high expectations on each other. The biggest challenge of the projects is the distance caused by the Atlantic Ocean, which limits number of meetings, however digital tools for communication works very well.

Kenneth M Persson

I am a PhD in chemical engineering who have been working as professor in water resources engineering at Lund University since 2003. My main interests are research, development and innovation coupled with water supply and sanitation for municipal and industrial applications. I am also research manager at the water utility South Sweden Water Supply in Malmö, Sweden. Thus, I have the privilege to work with water supply in both theory and practice. Since 2012, I have participated in a business network and platform for water innovation based in Lund, Sweden, called WIN Water.

Brazil is the biggest country in Latin America. It has the biggest rivers and the largest population. In 2019, I was employed as visiting guest professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre. I had the chance to work in Porto Alegre during the autumn 2019 and the spring 2020 and could also plan several research proposals and initiate teaching in the water sector before I returned to Sweden in July 2020.

Personally, I had to struggle with the Portuguese, since I don´t speak that beautiful language so well. I was also stuck, like everybody else, in a Corona virus pandemic, which changed my planning and the opportunities for research substantially. Besides that, Brazil is so big in size. I would have liked to see much more of the country during my stay. My plan is to come back when the pandemic is over.

The Brazilian water sector grows every year. I am happy to have met so many interested Brazilian researchers and utility engineers who want to collaborate with me and have invited me to their networks. I want to see joint research projects between UFRGS and other Brazilian universities, and my home university Lund University and other Swedish universities. I am particularly fond of the topic of water management, quality and water safety. I also hope to see exchange of innovative technologies and methods for water and sanitation so we can meet the SDG6 long before 2030.  

Both Semida Silveira and Kenneth Persson will participate in our digital innovation weeks in November 2020. Find out about all our events on the Innovation Weeks Website and participate on our webinars of Co-Creation and Mission Orientated, Biogas, Food Waste, Mining, Smart Mobility, Water Management, Aeronautics between others.