Knowing Fapesp, funding agency of the State of São Paulo

Brazil has been in economic crisis for some years, but the states are still investing in research and innovation, especially the state of São Paulo with Fapesp. The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) is an independent public foundation with the mission to foster research projects in higher education and research institutions of the State of São Paulo. São Paulo has a population of forty million and generates 32 percent of Brazil’s GDP. The constitution of the State establishes that 1.7 percent of all state taxes belong to the foundation and the government transfers these funds monthly. The stability of the funding and the autonomy of the foundation allow for an efficient management of the resources that has had a sizable impact: while São Paulo has 22 percent of the Brazilian population and 30 percent of the scientists with a doctorate in the country, the state responds for 45 percent of the country’s scientific articles published in international journals.

São Paulo State has 33 Higher Education Institutions, 73 Universities of Technology, 43 Research Institutions and 20 hospitals with research and innovation areas with more than 17 thousand innovative enterprises. 

FAPESP’s disbursement in 2018 was US$ 300 million in 24.720 projects. The majority, 57 percent was to support application-driven research, in many cases performed in Small Businesses or in joint research performed by academia and industry. The percentage invested in applied research has been growing in recent years.

Sirius, the new Brazilian synchrotron light source Laboratory, is the largest and most complex research infrastructure ever built in the Brazil (Renan Picoreti – CNPEM).

Fapesp and Vinnova

Fapesp maintains 217 cooperation agreements with 41 national and 176 international research funding agencies, higher educational and research institutions and business enterprises. The funding agency also offers many programs to support foreign scientists willing to work in research institutions in São Paulo as a post-doctoral fellowship, young investigator awards and visiting researcher grants.

Under the framework of the agreement signed between the Fapesp and Vinnova the first bilateral call in 2019 was launched. The chosen thematic areas were: Aeronautics; Bioeconomy; Platforms for ICT/IOT (smart cities, mining, mobility); and Life Sciences. The proposals are being analysed and it will soon be disclosed the intuitions and areas selected in both countries for bilateral funding.

Engineering Research Center – ERC

Fapesp created the Engineering Research Center (ERC) Program which supports long-term research projects with industry. The primary mission is to perform complex and problem-oriented research projects at the knowledge frontier in pursuit of well-defined results that help form a world-class research center during its existence. In addition, the ERC’s internationally competitive core research team are supposed to develop effective means to transfer technology, promote education, and disseminate knowledge. Until 2019 there are 10 ERC: Center of Artificial Intelligence (IBM, USP), Genomic for Climate Change (Embrapa, Unicamp), New Energy (Shell, Unicamp, USP, IPEN), Human wellbeing and behavior (Natura, USP), Gas Innovation (USP, Shell), New Target discovery (USP, Butantan, GSK), Sustainable Chemistry (UFScar, GSK), Biofuel engine (USP, PSA), Oil Recovey (Unicamp, Equinor), Biological Control (USP, Koppert).

The Centers develop strategic research and operate according to an innovative collaborative research model: they are co-financed in the long term (5 to 10 years) by Fapesp, a partner company and host institutions responsible for operating expenses and salaries.

Ana Carolina & Jacob