Science - May 26, 2005

Brazilian pact signed

In the coming five years, fifteen Brazilian researchers will come each year to Wageningen to do PhD or post-doc research. Rector Professor Bert Speelman signed an agreement in Brazil last week.

The agreement is with Capes, the organisation within the Brazilian ministry of education that deals with the training of academic personnel. Together with the universities in Brazil this organisation will select ten PhD researchers and five post-doc researchers each year that will receive a grant to do research in Wageningen. Some Brazilian professors may also come to Wageningen for a sabbatical.

Speelman is happy with the agreement: ‘We have already had about forty Brazilian researchers here in Wageningen, and our experience is positive. Brazil has a fast growing economy, and wants to become a leader in certain areas such as bio-fuels. The Brazilians will conduct research in a number of different areas, including aquaculture, plant breeding and soil sciences.

Last week agreements were also made concerning cooperation between the Wageningen research institutes and the Brazilian agricultural research institute Embrapa. This institute is the largest agricultural research in Brazil, and therefore a competitor of Wageningen UR on the international market. Collaboration will concentrate on research on new crops, refining techniques for bio-fuels and sustainable development of the Amazon area.

The first PhD researcher will start soon in Wageningen. Speelman also hopes to sign similar agreements with Argentina and Mexico soon.
/ JH