Newsletter 1/2012

Humboldt Foundation drives cooperation with Brazil

A new representation in São Paulo and a new joint programme facilitate promotion of the Humboldt Network of Excellence in Brazil.

The Humboldt Foundation is strengthening its presence in the region by establishing an office in the German House of Science and Innovation (DWIH) in São Paulo which was opened on 14 February by Federal Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle. During his visit to Brazil, the minister was accompanied by the President of the Humboldt Foundation, Helmut Schwarz, and other leading representatives of German science.

Federal Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, together with the collaborative partners at the opening of the DWIH in São Paulo
Federal Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, together
with the collaborative partners at the opening of the DWIH
in São Paulo on 14 February 2012.

Foto: DAAD/Denise Nunes

The Humboldt Foundation’s new representation in the foremost research and business location in Latin America aims to promote local knowledge about the Foundation’s programmes and support the work of its Ambassador Scientists in Brazil.

A new joint programme is also designed to develop the Humboldt Network of Excellence in this dynamic South American country. In the context of the Brazilian government’s “Science without Borders” programme, the Humboldt Foundation has come to an agreement with CAPES and CPNq, the two most important science funding agencies in Brazil, to adopt a joint funding mechanism for Brazilian postdoctoral researchers in Germany. Co-financing of this kind is a new departure for the Humboldt Foundation, too. The specifications of the new sponsorship opportunity for outstandingly qualified junior researchers are currently under preparation.

Up to 2014, the Brazilian government is investing 1.4 billion EUR in “Science without Borders” with the objective of significantly driving its own national science and innovation system.

This funding mechanism will sponsor up to 75,000 scholarships while the private sector in Brazil is scheduled to provide for a further 25,000 fellowships. The bulk of funding will be used for study and research visits abroad. The programme focuses on natural science, technology and engineering.

The Humboldt Foundation has cooperated with CAPES for many years. Since 1996, six awards have been granted in the context of an agreement to fund reciprocal awards. And since 2010, CAPES and the Humboldt Foundation have organised binational, interdisciplinary conferences alternately in Brazil and Germany under the title “Brazilian-German Frontiers of Science and Technology Symposia” (BRAGFOST).