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Ohio State, São Paulo form $1.4 million research fund

A new research partnership between The Ohio State University and the Brazil state of São Paulo will build on existing collaborations and create a $1.4 million funding source to support research and innovation. The partnership will encourage researchers at Ohio State and any university in the state of São Paolo to collaborate on studies that can help citizens in both countries and people around the world.
Caroline Whitacre, vice president for research, William Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs, and Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee signed the $1.4 million agreement in São Paulo with representatives of the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP).
Under the agreement, researchers from any department and discipline at Ohio State and São Paulo can apply for funds to begin or expand joint projects. The call for proposals is now open, and research proposals will be accepted until Monday, May 20.
“Ohio State has well-developed collaborations with universities in São Paolo in some areas, such as translational plant science,” Whitacre said. “This new agreement will allow us to build upon our existing partnerships and extend our work. There is great potential for growing and finding new ways to work together.”
Collaborations will be wide-ranging, Whitacre said. Some of the topics already identified for potential projects include studies of natural products and drug discovery for anticancer agents; energy production, especially renewable and alternative energy; advanced materials; food security; and culture and history.

Whitacre said she envisions the partnership including conferences to introduce Ohio State and São Paulo researchers, short-term exchanges of faculty, students and postdoctoral researchers, and possibly some shared graduate-level courses and programs. “We expect to fund a variety of creative, exploratory projects that will build on the strengths of researchers at Ohio State and those in São Paulo,” she said.
The agreement calls for Ohio State and FAPESP to both contribute $700,000 to begin the 5-year program. Researchers will submit proposals that will be competitively reviewed by officials at Ohio State and FAPESP to choose the best for funding.
During the first year of the program, $20,000 awards will be made to encourage the formation of research collaborations. Larger awards are planned for the program’s second year. These awards represent seed funding, with a goal of securing additional support from funding agencies in the United States and Brazil.
Ohio State plans to open its next global gateway in São Paulo in 2014 with an aim to establish deeper and broader academic, alumni and corporate partnerships in Brazil.