19:00 PM

New Research Partnership Formed Between Ohio State and Brazil

A new research partnership signed today 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, officials say.

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 are in São Paulo to sign the $1.4 million agreement today 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.

“Ohio State has well-developed collaborations with universities in Sao 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,” Whitacre 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. The gateway’s goal of facilitating research collaborations between Ohio State and Brazilian scholars will benefit significantly from the Ohio State-FAPESP agreement, according to vice provost Brustein.

“This new agreement shows Ohio State’s commitment to outreach and engagement, and our continued goal of strengthening our reputation as an international university,” Whitacre said.

“We look forward to the exciting discoveries that will come out of this partnership.”

About The Ohio State University

Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.