FAPESP-Shell – New Energies Research Center

Preliminary results

Webinar Presentation

CALL FOR RESEARCH PROPOSALS 2017

Summary:
Funding duration: maximum of 5 years, according to item 6 of this call
Instructions for submission: Proposals must be submitted only through SAGe system. 
Proposals must not contain any information considered to be confidential.
Proposals submission: until June 9th, 2017
Contact:
Patricia Tedeschi: chamada_shell@fapesp.br


Table of Contents 

1. Introduction
2. Definitions
3. Research Center Structure
3.1 Composition of the research and management team
3.2 Participation of Company
3.3 FAPESP-Company Joint Steering Committee (JSC)
3.4 International Advisory Board (IAB)
3.5 Involvement of foreign universities
4. Research Center Scope
5. Proposal – Minimum Requirements
6. Support Offered by FAPESP and Company
6.1 FAPESP Funding
6.2 Company Funding
6.3 Institutional Support
6.4 Research Center Supervision
6.5 Research Division Funding Schedule
7. Presentation of Proposals
8. Review of Proposals
8.1 Review and Selection Criteria
9. Timeline
10. For further Information
11. Implementation of the Approved Proposals

Annexes

I. Research and Management Team Requirements
II. Presentation Requirements for Proposals
III. Items Fundable by FAPESP and Company
IV. Detailed Description of the Topics of Interest
V. Compliance with Laws, Ethics and Business Principles


1. Introduction

One of the challenges in advancing knowledge is the complexity of current scientific and technological problems. Tackling these problems often requires longer term and more substantial support than that usually offered by FAPESP through its Regular Research Grants (or Thematic Projects). Longer term financing and (in many cases) interdisciplinary approaches permits more complex problems to be addressed, and is very often more successfully.

In many cases, the identification of the most potentially rewarding technology challenges can stem from an association with business or government entities, which are directly connected to market or societal needs. In this context, FAPESP has built on its successful CEPID program and has adapted it to facilitate partnership with committed co-funding industrial partners, who are motivated to utilize the research results, creating the Engineering Research Center Program.

The core mission of the Engineering Research Center initiative is to establish a long-term world class Research Center with effective mechanisms for education and dissemination of knowledge, and technology transfer. These programs require not only long-term financing but also a reasonably high degree of delegated authority in the application of the funding. They further require a strong institutional connection to the co-funding partner, and a regular and rigorous assessment of the Center’s performance.

BG E&P Brasil Ltda. (“Company”) is a member of Shell Group of Companies, which strategy seeks to reinforce its position as a leader in the energy industry by providing more and cleaner energy solutions. Today the Company is one of the largest investors in research and development (R&D) among international oil and gas companies in Brazil.

In the context of the investment obligations arising from pre-salt hydrocarbon production in the Santos Basin, the Company has a particular interest in research that aims to identify technologies that unlock business opportunities in New Energies and Chemicals that are structurally better than what is available today; specifically:

(i) new energy carrier(s) which are low cost, dense, abundant and clean; and

(ii) new pathways to economically and sustainably convert methane to products.

In partnership with FAPESP, Company wishes to establish a Brazilian Research Center for New Energies. At a strategic level the Center will focus to undertake research into:

(i) Dense Energy Carriers: the development of cost effective and efficient solar driven routes to synthesize relevant product molecules from molecules that are widely available in the environment. This implies synthesis of molecules like hydrogen, methanol, hydrocarbons or ammonia from water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Carbon dioxide necessarily will need to be captured from the environment, for instance, from the air.

(ii) Advanced Energy Storage: research on batteries with both intercalation-based and conversion-based electrodes, electrolytes of various types, and other storage devices, including flow batteries and supercapacitors. Research projects are aimed at exploring phenomena at various length- and time-scales, while being limited to topics that directly influence the function of an individual cell.

(iii) Methane to Products: find new credible pathways from methane to high-value large-volume products (order of magnitude on par with current NG consumption for energy, i.e. millions of BOE per day), particularly in market segments where competition from new energies is structurally limited. Examples include a range of base chemicals (e.g. methanol, acetylene, ethylene), but also potential new outlets such as carbon-based materials for construction, building and agricultural applications.

(iv) Computational Material Science: to advance in renewable and carbon neutral energy research, relying solely on empirical research is expensive; and to enable answering the question of how to select the right combination of materials as well as architecture for optimal performance for a given energy application, efficient use of computational research is essential. We would like to take full advantage of both existing computational tools and new methods and techniques developed as necessary in developing building renewable energy research/technology portfolio.

The Center will aim to achieve world-wide recognition for, and have positive and sustainable societal impact with its research in the New Energies space. It is also envisaged that in future the center may also sponsor the development of further education courses (Bachelor and Masters Level) and vocational training for new entrants and employees in the New Energies space in Brazil.

Company recognizes the Engineering Research Center program as a suitable vehicle to promote a long-term research program in this field with Sao Paulo research institutions and universities. This initiative expands the aims of the FAPESP CEPID program, adding a component of research collaboration with industry since the inception of the proposals, thus bringing in the approach of FAPESP's Research Partnership for Technological Innovation (PITE) program. The New Energies Research Center (NERC) in Sao Paulo, to be established by FAPESP and Company, will perform world-class research in the New Energies space to advance the knowledge in the fields of Dense Energy Carriers, Advanced Energy Storage, Methane to Products conversion and Computational Material Science. Thus combining the best of both program's practices.


2. Definitions

In this Call for Research Proposals the capitalized expressions listed below have the following meanings:

a. Principal Investigator (PI): is a senior academic faculty member and a Research Division leader. All PIs must have an excellent research background in a related field; their participation must be clearly specified in the Research Division Plan and this will be essential to the development of the projects to be carried out. It is desirable that the PIs have technology transfer experience. Each of the four Research Divisions (see Section 4) will be technically coordinated by a PI as its Research Division leader, who will be based at the appropriate institution. One of the four PIs will be appointed by FAPESP and Company to assume the role of Center Director, being responsible for the scientific and administrative coordination of the Center.

b. Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI): an academic faculty member responsible for a major Project within the scope of the Research Division. All Co-PIs must have outstanding research records in a field related to the Project under his/her coordination. The Research Division Plan must clearly assign the responsibility for each major Project to one (1) Co-PI.

c. Associate Investigator (AI): team researchers, assigned by the PIs and approved by FAPESP and Company, responsible for contributing to well-defined elements of the research projects.

d. Education and Dissemination of Knowledge Coordinator (EDC): appointed by one of the Host Institutions to manage educational and communicational interfaces to disseminate output from the Center to the academic community and other stakeholders.

e. Technology Transfer Coordinator (TTC): an academic faculty member appointed by one of the Host Institutions to coordinate the Research Center´s technological transfer program. The Proposal may appoint the same individual to complement the profile of the Host Institution PI, if required.

f. Technology Transfer Manager (TTM): appointed by each Host Institution to develop and manage the institutional and business relationships and interfaces to translate output from the Center into practical applications. The TTM of the Hub Institution furthermore fills an advisory role to the EC on the Center’s technology transfer activities.

g. Host Institution: the institution hosting one (1) or more of the four Research Divisions within the Research Center, to which the associated PI(‘s) must be connected by formal employment. The Host Institution will provide institutional and administrative support for its Research Division(s), including storing and accessing material and equipment for the project researchers.

h. Hub Institution: one of the Host Institutions assuming the role of Research Center Hub. The Hub Institution will host the Research Center Executive Committee (EC) and provide the management resources necessary to achieve the appropriate level of direction and coordination of activities across the four Research Divisions.

i. ANP: Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels.

j. NERC: New Energies Research Center.

k. Project: Research project, or specific line of research, with the aim of describing cause and effect relationships or evidencing new facts. In this Call for Research Proposals, every Project is described in and is part of a Research Division Plan.

l. Research Division: One of four (4) distinct areas of research under the New Energies Research Center scope. A Research Division comprises a combination of coordinated Projects with the aim of solving a bold scientific challenge. Description of each individual Research Division can be found in Section 4 and Annex IV.

Further details on the requirements for the personnel assigned to the Center are provided in Annex I.


3. Research Center structure

The Research Center will comprise four Research Divisions. Each Division may be hosted in a different Host Institution. Alternatively, a Host Institution may accommodate up to four Research Divisions. One of the Host Institutions will be appointed by FAPESP and Company to assume the role of Hub Institution. The Hub Institution will, in addition to operating its Research Division(s), host the Research Center Executive Committee (EC) and provide management resources necessary to achieve the appropriate level of direction and coordination of activities across the four Research Divisions. See Figure 1.

It is recognized that a Host Institution may need for other institutions to be involved in the delivery of its Research Division Plan. Therefore, Proposals from leading consortia of institutions are encouraged, in which a Host Institution is nominated along with partner institutions, which collectively have internationally leading academic capabilities in one of the four Research Division areas and supporting areas.

Each of the Research Divisions will deliver internationally competitive research in the topics detailed in Annex IV; FAPESP and Company believe that collaboration and maximization of synergies between the Research Divisions is key to achieve success.

The Center’s coordination activities will aim to promote and oversee this collaboration.

During the Proposal review process FAPESP and Company will engage with the PIs and Institutions who submitted a Proposal to select the Hub Institution location, nominate the Center Director, nominate the Education and Dissemination of Knowledge Coordinator, and define the detailed accountabilities of the Host and Hub Institutions within the Center structure.

Figure 1. Structure of the Research Center

Company researchers will have access to research partners in the wider international scientific communities in relevant activities, and the Research Center will be encouraged to take advantage of this network in the interest of developing and executing its Research Division Plans.

In broader terms, the goals of the Research Center must be able:

3.a) To perform world-class fundamental and/or applied research, seeking positive and sustainable economic and societal impact through innovation;

3.b) To transfer knowledge to society, including corporate, non-governmental and/or public sectors, e.g. by publishing results in the peer-reviewed literature, by carrying out projects in partnership with companies, governmental agencies or NGO’s responsible for public policies, or through establishing small businesses using research developed by the Center. These projects may benefit from other FAPESP programs such as PITE (Partnership for Technological Innovation), PPP (Public Policies Research Program) or PIPE (Innovative Research in Small Business Program).

3.c) To interact with society, especially with the educational system at the primary and secondary levels (for example through the FAPESP Public Education Research Program).

3.d) To undertake collaboration with leading universities from other countries that provide opportunities for international training of PhD students and post-doctoral researchers, facilitating the transfer of technical knowledge and enhancing the Brazilian academic base.

3.1 Composition of the research and management team

A key determining factor for the success of the Research Center will be the existence of a balanced research and management team led by the Center Director, and supported by high quality administrative and management services. The latter may also include representative(s) of Company. The Center should be able to demonstrate world-class expertise, and be underpinned by the scale, depth and duration of the proposed research activities. To deliver the Research Divisions efficiently and effectively will require continuous interaction between the PIs, Co-PIs, AIs and EC members to achieve the scientific and technological goals, and the transfer and diffusion of knowledge. The dimensions, structure, and operation of the Center should be based on the selected Proposals.

The Research Center will be directed by the Executive Committee (EC), comprising the Center Director, a Deputy Center Director (appointed by Company), the PIs of the Host Institutes, the Hub´s Technology Transfer Coordinator (TTC), and the Education and Dissemination of Knowledge Coordinator (EDC). The EC should be supported by professional staff (to be hired by the Hub Institution and/or Institutions hosting other Research Divisions) to undertake and supervise the management and administrative tasks necessary for the operation of the Center.

The Research Center shall have a clearly defined science focus that articulates the research activities to be developed with clear deliverables. It must be understood that this is not an institutional support program and, therefore, research divisions, departments, units and institutions will not be supported as such. Funding of Research Center activities will be long term (initially limited to 5 years, with the possibility to be extended for up to 10 years, subject to the prior consent from both FAPESP and Company) and with ongoing support conditional on regular progress and quality assessments throughout this period. The funds allocated may be used with a reasonably high degree of delegated authority, and FAPESP and Company will supervise expenditures through the periodic assessments of the Center’s activities.

3.2 Participation of Company

The participation of representatives from Company and its research partners will be discussed with the PI and the Host Institution after the announcement of the selected Research Proposal(s). The appointment of a Company representative as the Deputy Director of the Center will facilitate a high level of interaction between the Center, Company and its research partners.

3.3 FAPESP-Company Joint Steering Committee (JSC)

A FAPESP-Company Joint Steering Committee (JSC) will be established to provide overall direction to the Research Center. The JSC will include representatives from FAPESP and Company and will meet twice per year (every 6 months) to review the progress of the Center and execution of the research plan. The JSC will ensure continued alignment of the Center with the science, technology, education and technology transfer requirements of both FAPESP and Company. This will include a particular focus on identifying commercial development and demonstration opportunities for the research outputs of the Center.

3.4 International Advisory Board (IAB)

The Center will establish an International Advisory Board (IAB) of renowned scientists in appropriate research fields to provide independent advice on the establishment and operation of the Research Center. The IAB will include at least two foreign scientists who are active at the leading edge their fields. The IAB’s main role will be to advise on: the operation of the Center, guiding the team regarding the direction and execution of ongoing projects within the Research Divisions, new opportunities for research, and strategies to increase its international competitiveness.

3.5 Involvement of foreign universities

Participation of foreign universities in projects should be proposed when such a collaboration can provide unique and leading capabilities that enhance the output of the projects. International involvement could include, for example, periods spent by a São Paulo based PhD student or post-doctoral researcher at the university abroad or vice versa.


4.
Research Center scope

The Center will encompass the four (4) distinct, but complementary, Research Divisions summarized below (note that further details are provided in Annex IV):

4.a) Research Division: Dense Energy Carriers

In a low-cost electricity world, molecules still have a very significant role to play for several applications as molecules offer a high product utility combined with lowest handling/storage costs. More specifically, molecules offer the highest energy densities when compared to any form of electricity storage and are therefore within Company referred to as ‘Dense Energy Carriers (DEC)’.

With this in mind there is a clear need for the development of cost effective and efficient solar driven routes to synthesize relevant product molecules from molecules that are widely available in the environment. This implies synthesis of molecules like hydrogen, methanol, hydrocarbons or ammonia from water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Carbon dioxide necessarily will need to be captured from the environment; for instance, from the air.

An illustrative (by no means limiting) example is the electrolysis of water into hydrogen (and oxygen) using ‘green power’ followed by the subsequent conversion of hydrogen and CO2 into methanol. A broad area of solar driven synthesis of Dense Energy Carriers is considered. We do not want to limit your thinking in any way and we would like to invite you to bring up and discuss any specific route that meets the above criteria.

4.b) Research Division: Advanced Energy Storage

Safely increasing energy density and cycle life are central to successful, expanded deployment of energy storage technologies across markets and uses. It is recognized that there are many approaches available to address the current challenges for both mobility and stationary applications of energy, whether tackling materials properties (e.g. electrodes), transport phenomena (e.g. fluid flow, gas diffusion), or ionic conductivity (e.g. electrolytes).

Since significant efforts in industry and academia are already in progress globally to advance the performance and commercialization of lithium-ion batteries, the AES research portfolio does not include projects aimed at improvements of these systems.

The AES program expects to include research on batteries with both intercalation-based and conversion-based electrodes, electrolytes of various types, and other storage devices, including flow batteries and supercapacitors. Research projects are aimed at exploring phenomena at various length- and time-scales, while being limited to topics that directly influence the function of an individual cell.

4.c) Research Division: Methane to Products

The objective is to find new credible pathways from methane to high-value large-volume products (order of magnitude on par with current NG consumption for energy, i.e. millions of BOE per day), particularly in market segments where competition from new energies is structurally limited. Examples include a range of base chemicals (e.g. methanol, acetylene, ethylene), but also potential new outlets such as carbon-based materials for construction, building and agricultural applications.

Despite decades of research there are to date still no clear winners for direct conversion routes of methane. Activating and converting the methane molecule typically requires higher temperatures and/or catalysis. However, the resulting products are typically more reactive than methane leading to undesired by-products. Thus the main challenge is not so much the activation of methane, but rather the ability to mitigate the sequential and parallel reactions that lower selectivity.

Conventional direct conversion routes include pyrolytic pathways and oxidative pathways. Pyrolytic pathways are (strongly) endothermic yielding fundamental challenges such as the need for substantial heat input (at high temperatures), and equilibrium-limitations, resulting in partial conversions per pass (with its downstream separation challenges). Oxidative pathways are typically strongly exothermic, requiring heat removal, and thus not limited by equilibrium, but have similar challenges in heat management, reactivity of the products (against the oxidant), and/or downstream separation and recycle.

By exploring new developments made in scientific fields such as electro-chemistry, nano-materials, structured catalysts, computational sciences and synthetic biology combined with the availability of cheap electrons (i.e. energy), fundamentally different approaches might become available for converting methane.

4.d) Research Division: Computational Material Science

To advance in renewable and carbon neutral energy research, relying solely on empirical research is expensive; and to enable answering the question of how to select the right combination of materials as well as architecture for optimal performance for a given energy application, efficient use of computational research is essential. We would like to take full advantage of both existing computational tools and new methods and techniques developed as necessary in developing building renewable energy research/technology portfolio.

Proposals pertaining to the Computational Material Science Division should describe the planned contribution to themes pertaining to the other three Research Divisions with a view to fostering synergy among the various components of the research effort.


5. Proposal - minimum requirements and optional sections

A PI may only submit one (1) proposal, which should contain a Research Division Plan pertaining to at least one of the four Research Divisions detailed in Section 4 and a plan for the operation of the Center Hub. The required content and format of the Proposal is detailed by Annex II. In the following discussion of general aspects of the Proposal, references between square brackets indicate the pertinent items in Annex II.

A Proposal will include the following minimum requirements:

5.a) Research Division Plan: detailing objectives, scope, existing capabilities and execution plan for at minimum one (1) of the Research Divisions detailed in Section 4, which should describe how the center will achieve a world-class level of research in the area defining the Division.

5.a.i) The Plan will list the key roles (with individuals identified when possible and including a schedule for hiring of personnel if required) [II.6.c] and detail the budget (including a schedule for disbursement) [II.7, II.8] and delivery mechanisms for the research [II.4], its associated technology transfer program [II.5] and associated education and knowledge dissemination program [II.12].

5.a.ii) The Plan will further describe the physical space and infrastructure and contain a detailed description of the institutional contribution [II.9].

Graphical depiction of the allocated space is recommended. The physical area should enable execution of the research. When infrastructure needs to be built to achieve this, the Proposal must include confirmation of the commitment to do so and the construction timeline.

5.b) Information on Host and partner Institutions:

5.b.i) Confirmation by the Host Institution that the activities described in the Research Division Plan(s) will be hosted in a higher education and research institution, or research institutions, which are public or non-for-profit private entities in the State of São Paulo and are committed to the long-term success of the proposed Center. When institutional collaboration is proposed, FAPESP and Company may require that a formal relationship will be established with the non-Host institution(s) [II.9].

5.b.ii) A detailed description of the contribution from the Host Institution. The Proposal should include a statement signed by the highest leadership in the Host Institution describing the physical space, personnel, and infrastructural resources that will be allocated to the Research Division [II.9].

5.c) Description of the research team, in terms of structure, personnel (including technical support personnel), qualifications and experience. The description should include a one-sentence description of the project under the responsibility of each co-PI, followed by a listing of the AIs and other participants. Well-qualified and experienced researchers from other states in Brazil or overseas may be nominated. The proposed budget may provide funds for such researchers, within FAPESP guidelines for visiting-research awards [II.6.c].

5.d) Details of agreements, joint projects or collaborations established or under negotiation with internationally recognized foreign Centers, departments or research institutes with a research focus in relevant areas. These are not mandatory but can enhance the strength of the Proposal. If not already established, the Proposal should consider putting in place such collaborations within the first two years of the Center’s operation, to increase effectiveness of the Research Division. When such collaborations are proposed, FAPESP and Company may require a formal relationship to be established [II.14].

5.e) A description of the administration and management personnel to support the Research Division operation. To ensure good communication with researchers from other countries, fluency in English is highly desirable and, depending on characteristics of the Proposal, may be indispensable [II.9].

5.f) Management plans and institutional-support offer for the Research Center Hub. In addition to operating its Research Division, the Hub Institution will host the EC and offer the management resources required by direction and coordination of activities across the four Research Divisions. The Proposal should include sections to (1) describe executive and knowledge management plans, (2) show adequacy of the offered physical space and infrastructure, and (3) demonstrate commitment of the PI´s Institution to the development of the Research Center. Submissions showing that preliminary negotiation among two or more institutions have led to the definition of a consortium comprising a Hub Institution and one or more Host Institutions will be especially prized; in this case, a copy of the sections describing the Research Center Hub operation should be included in each submission [II.11].

5.f.1) Executive and Knowledge Management Plans for the Hub

5.f.1.a) Executive Management Plan for the Hub. The Center Director, and more broadly the Executive Committee are expected to promote a number of administrative initiatives of critical importance for the success of the NERC:

5.f.1.a.1) Coordinate and maintain direction of the NERC, across the four Research Divisions;

5.f.1.a.2) Build and maintain organization to manage NERC support with required administrative tasks;

5.f.1.a.3) Search and apply for additional funding sources for the NERC;

5.f.1.a.4) Manage health, safety, security, and environmental risks.

In addition, the Director should carry out routine administrative tasks, such as requesting payments to FAPESP and submitting proposals of changes in the agreed NERC funding distribution to the Company. The Executive Management Plan should describe (i) measures to be taken by the Director to achieve the desired goals, and (ii) the administrative and management support personnel that will assist him/her, individuals being identified whenever possible.

5.f.1.b) Knowledge Management Plan for the Hub. The Director is also expected to insure that knowledge generated within the Research Divisions will be captured and distributed across the Center. Of special significance is the organization of the half-yearly Progress Review meetings, of the Annual meetings of all researchers, International Advisory Board and observers from FAPESP and the Company, and of the Wide-ranging Performance Assessment at the end of year 3. Other important components of the Knowledge Management Plan are

5.f.1.b.1) Initiatives to facilitate collaboration between the Research Divisions, including but not limited to workshops, webinars, newsletters, and webpage development;

5.f.1.b.2) Participation in research-related international meetings;

5.f.1.b.3) Plans to acquire equipment, books, and databases for libraries;

5.f.1.b.4) Organization of courses to update technical personnel dedicated to the support of research;

5.f.1.b.5) Measures associated with technology transfer, such as the protection of intellectual property;

5.f.1.b.6) Procedures to promote publication of results in peer-reviewed literature or presentation in conferences.

5.f.2) Physical Space and Infrastructure for the Hub

In addition to providing physical space for the Research Institute, the Hub Institution should properly accommodate the Executive Committee, described in item 3.1, the Executive Manager, the Technology Transfer Manager, and additional administrative support staff. It should also offer adequate infrastructure to enable the management, administrative and support duties of the EC. Existing resources should be described, graphical depiction being desirable. Where infrastructure needs to be refurbished or built, the Proposal must include confirmation of the commitment to do so and the construction timeline. Neither FAPESP nor Company funds can be applied to this end.

5.f.3) Institutional Commitment to support the Hub

Given the legal restrictions on the financial contribution from FAPESP and Company, the Hub Institution is expected to offer the above-described physical space and infrastructural support. In addition it should allocate or recruit administrative personnel to support the Hub Institute. Of capital importance are two dedicated staff members: the Executive Manager, a skilled administrator who is expected to care for the day-to-day administrative operation of the Hub with minimum supervision, and the Technology Transfer Manager, who is expected to have sufficient knowledge to interact with and support the work of the other technology transfer personnel and to seek opportunities to interact with other organizations, internationally. The Proposal should include a statement of commitment from the highest leadership of the Hub Institution. The statement should describe the personnel that will be dedicated to the Hub Institute, with identification of individuals, if possible, or of the timeline for recruitment. Statements from a consortium of institutions willing to co-finance the hiring of dedicated personnel will add exceptional value to the Proposal.

Each Proposal must nominate Co-PIs for the roles of Research Center TTC and EDC. Minimum requirements for the TTC, EDC and other EC roles are listed in Annex I. The same TTC may be nominated to complement the Research Division PI’s profile in the area of technology transfer, if necessary.


6. Support offered by FAPESP and Company

6. a) The NERC is viewed as a long-range initiative. Funding will be awarded initially for a maximum of five (5) years and may be renewed for up to ten (10) years subject to broad performance reviews at the end of years 3 and 5and the approval of both FAPESP and Company. FAPESP and Company will not have any commitment in connection with this Call for Research Proposals to provide funds to the Center beyond five (5) years, although they may choose to do so at their sole discretion.

6.b) The investments from FAPESP and Company are not expected to be the sole source of funding and exclusive support for the Center. Proposals should provide details of the required budget and proposed sources and application of funds. Planned external financing will add value to Proposals in evaluation.

6.c) External funding will require the advance approval of the JSC.

6.d) The Center will also be encouraged to secure additional funding, from public or private sources (in Brazil and internationally) to support the translation of output from the Center into products, equipment, services which may be commercialized or developed to benefit consumers, the development of the industry in Brazil, or the achievement of Company´s business objectives.

6.e) The Center funding structure will be regulated by a separate agreement between FAPESP, Company and the Host Institution, which will provide that: (i) the funds to be granted by FAPESP shall be disbursed directly to the PI and (ii) the funds to be granted by Company shall be disbursed directly to the Host Institution.

6.1 FAPESP funding

FAPESP is forbidden by law to support administrative activities. For this reason, support from the Host Institution for all administrative activities will be required for the operational performance of the Center.

Items that may be funded by FAPESP are:

6.1.a) Fellowships (at scientific initiation, technical training, master, doctorate, post-doctoral levels) and visiting researcher programs;

6.1.b) Organization of work meetings;

6.1.c) Research equipment;

6.1.d) Consumables;

6.1.e) Third-party services;

6.1.f) Per diem allowances for travel, transportation, living expenses for visiting researchers;

6.1.g) Civil construction of research infrastructure through the modification of existing facilities and structures (within the existing footprint);

6.1.h) International collaboration and/or training costs for PhD students and researchers.

Further information on Fundable Items is available at Annex III.

FAPESP funding may not be used for:

i) Administrative activities;

ii) Additional salary payments of any nature;

iii) The construction of new buildings or of annexes to existing buildings (beyond the existing footprint).

6.2 Company funding

Items that may be funded by Company must follow what is defined by the ANP Resolution 50/2015 and its respective Technical Regulation 3/2015, available at www.anp.gov.br/wwwanp/pesquisa-desenvolvimento-e-inovacao/investimentos-em-p-d-i/regulamentacao-tecnica-relativa-aos-investimentos-em-p-d-i, and can consider:

6.2.a) Research equipment associated with a Project (to be owned by the Host Institution on completion of the Project) – this item may require ANP pre-approval;

6.2.b) Funds invested in PhD, interchange doctoral or post-doctorate fellowships at levels at least equal to the equivalent grants from FAPESP for these arrangements;

6.2.c) Provision for funds to be used to support training and collaborative activities with international partners where appropriate;

6.2.d) Acquisition of consumables, software licenses, travel and third-party technical services when directly associated with the project;

6.2.e) Funds invested in infrastructure associated with the project (to be owned by the Host Institution after the completion of the project) – this item requires ANP pre-approval;

6.2.f) Funds to supplement the salaries of researchers employed by participating institutions; these will be paid in accordance with the rules of the relevant institution, and in such a manner that does not imply employment by Company.

6.3 Institutional support

6.3.1) Research Division

Because of the legal requirements on the application of FAPESP funds, the Host Institution is required to provide support for all administrative activities (procurement, management, secretarial services, and others) and the payment of research support personnel.

Moreover, the Host Institution (or partner Institution) must provide for:

6.3.1.a) Personnel and services for Research Division management;

6.3.1.b) Personnel and support for procurement, scheduling, accounting and all other administrative tasks required to ensure the effective functioning of the proposed Research Division(s);

6.3.1.c) All other technical personnel, support and facilities needed to operationalize and maintain the research activities;

6.3.1.d) The recruitment of new researchers/professors (this is not a mandatory requirement, but can add significant value to the Proposal).

All institutional contributions must be described and quantified, physically and financially. This will include details of salaries for researchers and support personnel, the equipment and infrastructure to which the Research Division(s) will have access (e.g. communication, computer network, support workshops, administrative resources).

The level of the institutional support considered necessary will be an important factor in the assessment of the Proposals.

6.3.2) Hub Center

Further to the support of a Host Institution, the Hub Institution will host the Research Center Executive Committee (EC) and provide the management resources necessary to achieve the appropriate level of direction and coordination of activities across the four Research Divisions. The additional proposed contributions to the Research Center Hub must therefore be described and quantified.

6.4 Research Center supervision

The activities of the Center will be assessed annually by means of progress reports. At the end of the third and fifth years, wide-ranging assessments will be carried out which may include visits and interviews with the Center staff and researchers. The results of this assessment will be fundamental to any decision by FAPESP and Company with respect to continued support beyond the third year. In the event that funding is not continued the Center will be granted six months of reduced support whilst it closes down operations.

6.5 Research Division funding schedule

The financial support from FAPESP and Company to each of the Research Divisions will be limited to the total amounts (the equivalent in Reais (R$) of the total in US$ provided by each party) described in the table below. The values ascribed for overheads for direct infrastructure costs (see Section 2 of Annex III) and the overheads for any awarded fellowships are included in the total values indicated:

Financial support from FAPESP (USD mln)*

Research Divisions

1st year

2nd year

3rd year

4th year

5th year

Total

Dense Energy Carriers

0,28

0,50

0,61

0,28

0,28

1,95

Advanced Energy Storage

0,28

0,50

0,61

0,28

0,28

1,95

Methane to Products

0,28

0,50

0,61

0,28

0,28

1,95

Computational Material Science

0,16

0,17

0,17

0,16

0,16

0,82

Total

1,00

1,67

2,00

1,00

1,00

6,67

* 10% overhead included (Technical Reserve) to support Hub Institute

 

Financial support from Company (USD mln)**

Research Divisions

1st year

2nd year

3rd year

4th year

5th year

Total

Dense Energy Carriers

0,42

0,75

0,92

0,42

0,42

2,93

Advanced Energy Storage

0,42

0,75

0,92

0,42

0,42

2,93

Methane to Products

0,42

0,75

0,92

0,42

0,42

2,93

Computational Material Science

0,24

0,25

0,24

0,24

0,24

1,21

Total

1,50

2,50

3,00

1,50

1,50

10,0

** Overhead, taxes and indirect costs included

           

Guidance: Institutions should note that as far as the Company financial support is concerned, there is flexibility on phasing between Programs and across years, except that the 1st year funding total ($1,5 mln) should be regarded as a fixed total ceiling for that year. Institutions may propose variations to the Company funding allocation with respect to:

(i) alternative funding distributions across multiple Research Divisions within the year, provided the PI includes Research Division Plans for each of these Research Divisions in his/her Proposal and

(ii) a different total funding profile across the 5 years.

This flexibility is to ensure that institutions are able to optimize their Proposals with respect to investment phasing between Research Divisions and across years. It applies only to the Company financial support, and institutions should also ensure that Proposals are compliant with the guidance provided in this document on the constraints on the application of financial support by both FAPESP and Company.


7. Presentation of Proposals

All Proposals will be internationally peer reviewed; they must therefore be presented in ENGLISH. Each Proposal must contain a Research Division Plan and a plan for the operation of the Center Hub.

Proposals must not contain any information considered to be confidential. FAPESP and Company will consider all information in the received Proposals as being shared by its originators (i.e. PI, his/her Host institution and any associated institutions) on a non-confidential basis.

Proposals must adequately describe the arrangements for both the academic organization and management systems to be adopted by the Host Institution, and these should clearly demonstrate the feasibility of delivering the required scientific objectives.

The Proposal must be submitted by the PI, with the endorsement of the appropriate institutional directors (for example, at a State University there should be an endorsement from the Unit Director, the Dean of Research, and the University President). During the review process, the reviewers may consult the Lattes CVs of the PI and other members of the scientific team; therefore, these must be kept updated.

More detailed guidance on required Proposal content and formatting is provided in Annex II.


8. Review of Proposals

Proposals will undergo a competitive and international review process, considering the degree to which the Proposal complies with the conditions of this Call for Research Proposals.

Proposals will be submitted to FAPESP and be distributed to reviewers appointed jointly by FAPESP and Company with expertise relating to at minimum one of the four Research Division areas. Each reviewer will analyze and report on the Proposal(s) relevant to his/her area(s) of expertise.

The jointly appointed International Committee of Reviewers (ICR) will also review the Proposals and taking into account the reviewers reports, the ICR will deliver a written recommendation on each Proposal and a ranking based on the technical analysis to the JSC. The JSC will issue a final recommendation to the FAPESP Scientific Director, who will confirm the final selection decision.

The review process may include (at the discretion of the JSC) an interview with the proposing PI, the research team, and appropriate leadership of the Host Institution, as well as visits to participating institution(s).

At the end of the review, FAPESP and Company may recommend the merging of proposals to form one (1) Research Division and (through engagement with the PIs and Institutions during the Proposal review period) will define how to combine the selected Research Divisions from different Host Institutions into one single Research Center to be managed through a Hub Institution. The governance of the Research Center will be established in a consortium agreement between the Hub Institution, the Host Institutions, FAPESP and Company.

FAPESP and Company are not bound to accept any of the Proposals.

8.1 Review and selection criteria

The criteria used for ranking and selecting Proposals will be as follows:

8.1.a) SCIENTIFIC MERIT. This will be based on the originality and degree of innovation of the Proposal, benchmarked by an analysis of the international state of the art for the area. The Research Division Plan should define specific, realistic and measurable objectives and milestones for each Project to be executed by the Research Division. It is essential to include realistic and detailed timelines at least for the first three years of the Center. The Research Division Plan should promote the potential for the Center to become a world-class reference in this space, and one of the important elements of the plan will be the strategy for effective international cooperation.

8.1.b) FOCUS. The Research Division Plan shall have a single and clear scientific/technological focus and objective that articulates all the research activities to be developed through the proposed Projects. Synergy among the research efforts in different institutions and across Research Divisions should be maximized.

8.1.c) ADEQUACY OF THE CENTER HUB PLAN AND VALUE OF THE INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT OFFER. The Executive and Knowledge Management Plans and minimum requirements for the institutional-support offer are described in Section 5f. Proposals showing that prior negotiation among institutions has resulted in a proposed consortium to support the Research Center Hub will be especially valued.

8.1.d) QUALIFICATIONS OF THE RESEARCH AND MANAGEMENT TEAM. The requirements for the qualifications, skills and experience of the research and management team are detailed in Annex I. Intense participation of graduate students in the Research Division will enhance the strength of the Proposal.

8.1.e) ADEQUACY OF THE SCIENTIFIC TEAM. Criteria will be based on the qualification, size, recent academic background of the scientific team, the balance between senior and junior team members, the participation of emerging leaders, and the level of involvement of post-doctoral researchers in recent grant funded research done by the PIs. The team is expected to have a balanced composition of AIs, visiting researchers, post-doctoral researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, and technical support personnel, supported by top quality administrative and management services. The International Advisory Board should be constituted by researchers of international renown for their achievements in research areas closely related to the Research Divisions.

8.1.f) INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENTS TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE RESEARCH DIVISION

The quality and quantity of the institutional contribution, including physical space to be used for the operation of the Research Division and administrative and management support, needs to be compatible with the scale and scope of the Proposal objectives.

8.1.g) TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER PLAN. The degree of planned technology transfer to the industry, the public sector or third parties, may vary depending on the Research Division specifics, but is expected to lead to stronger bonds between research institutions and the external environment and to contribute to bringing new research challenges into the institutions, thereby maximizing the societal benefits of the research.

8.1.h) EDUCATION AND KNOWLEDGE DISSEMINATION PLAN. Planned educational and outreach activities to disseminate knowledge generated by the Research Center. Additional information in item 7 of Annex II.

8.2.i) TOTAL ESTIMATED BUDGET ADEQUACY. Criteria will include:

8.2.i.1) Sources and uses of funds;

8.2.i.2) Balance between personnel and equipment costs;

8.2.i.3) Adequacy of funding in relation to research objectives;

8.2.i.4) Effective and appropriate use of existing infrastructure;

8.2.i.5) Access to other (confirmed or prospective) funding sources;

8.2.i.6) Access to institutional support.

8.2.j) MANAGEMENT PLAN. Criteria will include:

8.2.j.1) Skills, experience and evidence of strategic management and business development capabilities within the management team;

8.2.j.2) Research Division management proposals, including progress and performance tracking arrangements, Program governance framework, budget controls, internal audit;

8.2.j.3) Internal and external communications plan;

8.2.j.4) Stakeholder management plan;

8.2.j.5) Risk management plan;

8.2.j.6) Evidence of compliance with Company General Business Principles and Company Code of Conduct, available at www.shell.com/about-us/our-values.html.


9. Timeline

Announcement of the Call

April 11, 2017

Opening for submission

May 16, 2017

Deadline for Proposal submission

June 09, 2017

Clarification Interviews

From July 10 to August 31, 2017

Expected announcement of selected Proposal(s)

September 1st, 2017


10. For further information

Email: Patricia Tedeschi: chamada_shell@fapesp.br


11. Implementation of the approved Proposals

The implementation of the Center and cooperation between FAPESP, Company and the winning participant will be governed by a separate agreement that will set out, among others, the rights and obligations of the parties with respect to:

11.a) The schedule of disbursements and financial reports;

11.b) The definition and timing of expected results at each stage of the R&D Program;

11.c) Intellectual Property, commercial exploitation and confidentiality rights and obligations;

11.d) Term;

11.e) Legal venue;

11.f) Governance of the Center;

11.g) Ethics and compliance rights and obligations.

By deciding to participate in this Call for Research Proposals each participant acknowledges and irrevocably and unconditionally agrees that:

(a) Each participant will be exclusively responsible for and will bear all costs and expenses incurred for the preparation and submission of its Proposal. FAPESP and Company will not, in any event, reimburse such costs and expenses to the participants;

(b) FAPESP and Company have the right to modify or terminate this Call for Research Proposals at any time, at their own discretion, and will not be under the obligation to pay any compensation to the participants as a result of any such modification or termination;

(c) FAPESP and Company do not have the obligation to implement the Center or to execute the agreement referred to in this section 11 with the winning participant, which, without limitation, will be subject to the following non-exhaustive conditions being met:

I. The selected Host Institutions and the appointed Hub Institution being subject to a compliance integrity due diligence to be carried out by Company in accordance to its usual standards and procedures applicable to third-party contracting with respective outcome deemed as satisfactory by FAPESP and Company. By submitting a proposal pursuant to this Call for Research Proposals, the selected participants agree to collaborate in furnishing copies of any requested legal and corporate documents (including from its direct and indirect shareholders and administrators), as well to participate in eventual interviews and provide any clarification that may be required in connection to the referred compliance due diligence;

II. The selected Host Institutions and the appointed Hub Institution being considered acceptable counterparties for FAPESP and Company, after successfully and timely meeting all requirements of the ethics and compliance integrity due diligence to be carried out by Company in accordance with its standards and procedures;

III. FAPESP, Company and the winning participant(s) successfully reaching an agreement on all terms and conditions of the agreement referred to in this section 11;

IV. FAPESP, Company and the winning participant(s) having obtained all required internal and corporate approvals to execute the aforementioned agreement.

(d) Due to requirements from ANP Resolution 50/2015 and its respective Technical Regulation 3/2015, the selected proposal(s) will have to be also presented using templates defined by ANP and available at www.anp.gov.br/wwwanp/pesquisa-desenvolvimento-e-inovacao/investimentos-em-p-d-i/regulamentacao-tecnica-relativa-aos-investimentos-em-p-d-i. The PI of each selected proposal will be asked to migrate proposal and project information (scope of work and expenses to be supported by Company) to those templates once the results of this Call for Research Proposals are made available.

 



Annex I: Research and management team requirements

 

I.1. Requirements for the PI

Experiences from similar research Centers in other countries have shown that the success in implementation is highly dependent on the appropriate choice of the PIs and the team of researchers. In addition to having an excellent academic and research track record, the PIs should possess strong leadership skills and strategic management capabilities, and be able to engage positively with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, including those at multiple levels within the FAPESP and Company organizations. He/she will have the ability to lead a multidisciplinary team to develop the Research Division Plan and to deliver results to required quality, cost and schedule parameters. This especially holds for the Center Director role.

The research team must reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the Center, and is expected to include some young researchers with a proven strong track record and potential for development. The Research Division leaders must be experienced researchers who have produced scientific work of international impact and have demonstrated competence in delivering complex and cooperative research programs.

Specific requirements for the PI are:

I.1.a) A PhD degree or equivalent qualification;

I.1.b) Employment with a research institution in the State of São Paulo;

I.1.c) Proven and substantial scientific or technological production and leadership in large and ambitious research projects;

I.1.d) A track record of successful implementation of research output and technology developments, while highly valued, is not essential. If the PI’s profile lacks a proven track record in technology transfer it is strongly recommended to nominate a TTC to support the PI.

I.1.e) Proven experience and competence in one or more of the areas in which the Research Center is to be involved, demonstrated by:

I.1.e.1) Evidence of high quality, regular and high impact scientific and technological output;

I.1.e.2) Training of researchers at graduate level;

I.1.e.3) Experience in the execution of research projects through scientific exchange and in collaboration with researchers from institutions in Brazil and/or in other countries;

I.1.f) The ability to form research groups and generate results recognized by the scientific community.

To a smaller extent, the Co-PIs are expected to satisfy the requirements listed as items (I.1.a)-(I.1.f).

The PIs must demonstrate a substantial time and dedication to the Research Division’s activities. It is expected that the PI appointed to be the Center Director will dedicate a minimum of 20 hours per week to activities in the Center.

2. Requirements for other EC members

The Proposal must nominate a Co-PI to serve as the Technology Transfer Coordinator (TTC) to the Center´s EC. The same Co-PI may be nominated to be the Technology Transfer Coordinator of the Research Division, if required to complement the PI´s profile in the area of technology transfer.The TTC will have an outstanding record of scientific or technological achievements and a track record record of successful implementation of research output and technology developments.

The Proposal must nominate a Co-PI to serve as the Education and Knowledge Dissemination of Knowledge Coordinator (EDC) to the Center’s EC.

The EDC should be experienced in developing projects in this area and in designing and delivering educational programs, courses and seminars. The EDC will be skilled in communicating outputs to relevant internal and external Center stakeholders and gathering feedback to help shape the future direction of the Research Divisions. He/she will have strong relationship building, networking and communications skills and will be able to work within the Center EC team in an integrated and effective manner. The EDC has to be supported by other staff as required.

 

Annex II: Presentation requirements for Proposals

All proposals will be internationally peer reviewed; hence, they must be presented in ENGLISH.

During the review process, the reviewer may consult the Lattes CVs of the PI, Co-PIs and other members of the scientific team; therefore, the Lattes CVs must be updated.

The proposal must be submitted by the PI (Centre Director if the proposal is approved), with the endorsement of the appropriate institutional directors (for example, at a State University there should be an endorsement from the Unit Director, the Dean of Research, and the University President), and of the Co-PIs. The list of documents that must be submitted includes:

II.1 Cover sheet

PI, name of the Research Division described in the Proposal, name of Host Institution and associated institutions, names of the Co-PIs proposed to be the Center´s TTC and EDC.

II.2 Abstract (30 lines)

The abstract of the Proposal.

II.3. Summary of Research Division Plan (up to 2 pages)

II.3.a) Focus of Research Division(s) and its (/their) multidisciplinary focus;

II.3.b) Brief description of the Technology Transfer Plan;

II.3.c) Brief description of the institutional contribution.

II.4 Research Division Plan and description of its scientific relevance (up to 20 pages, including bibliographic references)

The Research Division Plan is the technical core of the Proposal. It should describe the scientific and technological challenges to be addressed, and the means, methods and materials to be deployed in the Research Division. It should refer to the state of the art in the relevant area(s) in connection with the activities proposed.

A bold and distinctive Research Division Plan is expected, highly competitive both nationally and internationally. How the chosen strategy will influence the area of research in a significant manner should be shown. The Research Division Plan should articulate the vision for the Program, outlining the scientific macro-challenges that will be faced and/or the scientific discoveries to be pursued. Specifically, the plan needs to justify the requested multi-year funding from FAPESP and Company by clearly linking the complexity of problems, scale and scientific relevance of the planned research.

The Research Division’s scientific objectives and research activities should be described in sufficient detail to allow scientific assessment of their merit, as well as describe how it links to the other three Research Divisions listed in Section 4 and Annex IV. The Research Division Plan should also show how the technology transfer functions will advance research and technology development in this area. The Research Division Plan should further include specific examples of lines of research (Projects) with enough detail to allow for analysis and audit.

Per line of research (Project) the PI is requested to provide (up to 2 pages per Project):

II.4.a) Name of the Co-PI responsible for the Project;

II.4.b) Title of the Project;

II.4.c) Main objectives;

II.4.d) Background and description, including any current background know-how, patents or publications;

II.4.e) Justification, novelty of proposed work and the potential impact of anticipated outcomes;

II.4.f) Specific, realistic and measurable objectives and milestones;

II.4.g) Timeline;

II.4.h) Statement if any alternative funding is committed to PI or his/her Host Institute for same field/topic by another (inter)national source.

II.5 Technology Transfer Plan (up to 5 pages, including bibliographic references)

II.5.a) Research Division activities should have significant potential for exchange with other research and knowledge transfer institutions in industry and government. The Technology Transfer Plan should describe how the Center can develop and implement these activities within the scope of the Research Division Plan; for example, by showing viability of proposed technology transfer activities via partnership projects, incubation of companies, continuing education programs etc.

II.5.b) Prior experience of the PI or TTC with this type of activity should be briefly described, emphasizing documented results (projects, co-authored publications, licensed or co-licensed patents, absorption of graduate students by collaborator companies, etc.).

II.6. Plan and organization structure for Research Division operations

II.6.a) Organization plan and structure (up to 3 pages)

The Research Division must have an organizational structure and plan adequate to deliver its objectives.

The organization plan should show how the Research Division will be accommodated within the Host Institution and how research Projects developed by partner institutions will be integrated.

The management plan shall also include information on how the Center will manage health, safety, security and environmental risks, and it should contain a management of change strategy statement.

At least one annual meeting should be included, in which the results and/or projects and/or plans for the coming period will be presented and discussed. At the annual meeting, the attendance of the International Advisory Board and all of the Center’s researchers is required. FAPESP and Company observers must be invited with reasonable notice given.

II.6.b) Proposal for composition of the International Advisory Board (up to 2 pages)

The Proposal should include suggested names and justification for their nomination. Members of the IAB should be researchers who are very highly regarded for their international excellence and people to whom the EC members will have relatively easy access. The Proposal should also suggest the modus operandi of the IAB.

FAPESP and Company may want to nominate members to the IAB. In that case, the appointed names will be discussed with the PIs and the Host Institutions after the announcement of the selected Proposal(s).

II.6.c Research Division team (up to 5 pages)

The team must be presented, completely with all the Team Members, including researchers (including post-doctorate fellows), technicians, administrative support personnel, students, the TTC (optionally) and the nominee for the Hub EDC position. A description of the responsibilities of each Co-PI included in the Team should be included in the Research Plan. The Centre is expected to have a Team with a balanced distribution between Co-PIs, AIs, Visiting Researchers, Post-Doctorate Researchers, students and the corresponding technical and administrative support.

For each member of the scientific team (Principal Investigator, TTC, EDC and other Co-PIs) the proposal must include a short bio ( súmula curricular) following the model available at the following address: www.fapesp.br/en/6351.

II.7 Estimate of total annual Research Division budget (using appropriate form)

This should include all sources of funds the Research Division will have access to, listing uses (see sources and uses spreadsheet) of funds in terms of scientific personnel, technical personnel, administrative personnel, students, permanent equipment and material, consumables, and third-party services.

II.8 Budget request to FAPESP and Company (using appropriate forms plus justification sheets)

The detailed budget request should include justification (based on the objectives of the Research Program Plan, its associated Technology Transfer Plan and - if applicable - Education and Dissemination of Knowledge Plan) for all of the items valued at more than R$ 25,000 (national or imported), referenced to the relevant activity in the Research Program Plan. This budget request should be prepared for the first three years of operation in detail, and for the other years based on reasonable and justifiable estimates. The request should clearly specify (i.e. split out/define per line item) what support is requested from FAPESP and what from Company.

II.9 Details of institutional support and associated costs (up to 5 pages)

Description of the institutional support offered by the Host Institution(s), including detailed information on the cost of each item.

II.10 Details on other current and expected support (up to 2 pages)

Details of other support a) currently contracted and b) planned or expected, over the possible 5-year term.

II.11 Plans for the operation of the Center Hub

II.11a) Executive Management Plan (up to 2 pages)

Description of the planned initiatives to coordinate activities across the four Research Divisions and of the administrative and management support personnel.

II.11b) Knowledge Management Plan (up to 5 pages)

Description of the planned actions to facilitate collaboration between the Research Divisions and distribute knowledge generated at the Research Centers.

II.11c) Description of physical space and infrastructure (up to 2 pages)

Description of physical space to accommodate the Executive Committee, the Executive Manager and TTM. Infrastructural support should also be described.

II.11d) Institutional Commitment (up to 3 pages)

Description of the administrative and management personnel offered or to be recruited by the Hub Institution to support the work of the Center Director. Minimally, the offer should include the Executive Manager and TTM. If recruitment becomes necessary, a timetable should be presented. The description should be complemented by a statement signed by the highest leadership of the proposed Hub Institution to confirm the offer.

II.12. Education and Knowledge Dissemination Plan (up to 5 pages, including bibliographical references)

The activities of the Center will include training of human resources at every level and the education and dissemination of knowledge. In addition to developing undergraduate and graduate level science research programs, the Center will also be responsible for developing and implementing basic education extension activities, such as secondary education student and teacher activities, teacher training, science diffusion courses, and continuing education programs. It will do so by driving one (1) overarching Education and Knowledge Dissemination Plan.

The Research Divisions are expected to contribute to the education and dissemination of knowledge and to improving the teaching of sciences at every level, through routes such as research programs for faculty and students, projects in partnership with schools, other education and dissemination initiatives, etc. The Proposal should describe how the Center can develop and implement these activities. It should also nominate an individual for the EDC role. The experience of this person in this type of activity should be briefly described, emphasizing documented results.

II. 13 Executive Committee (1 page)

As a minimum, the EC will comprise the membership outlined in Section 3.1. Names, details and short bios (súmulas curriculares) of nominated individuals for the Center Director, TTC, and EDC should be provided in Proposal sections II.1 (Cover sheet), II.5 (Technology Transfer Plan), II.4 and II.6 (Plan and organization structure for Research Division operations) and II.12 (Education and Knowledge Dissemination Plan).

When PI and his/her Institution believe the EC membership should be expanded, this section in the Proposal should be used to describe the additional EC role(s) envisioned, the rationale for making this modification to the EC membership and key deliverables expected of this (/these) EC member(s).

II.14 Description of agreements, joint projects or collaborations with internationally recognized research centers (up to 5 pages, optional)

Established collaborations or projects under negotiation with internationally renowned Center, departments or research institutes with focus on an area pertinent to the Research Division Plan may be detailed. This item is not mandatory, but it may add significant value to the Proposal.

 

Annex III: Items fundable by FAPESP and Company

The Research Division budget(s) presented to FAPESP must be detailed and each item must be specifically justified in terms of objectives of the proposed plans (see the Accountability Manual at www.fapesp.br/5835).

Items that may be financed include the following:

III.1. Research project costs

III.1.a) Permanent materials acquired in Brazil or imported;

III.1.b) Consumables acquired in Brazil or imported;

III.1.c) Third party services acquired in Brazil or abroad;

III.1.d) Transportation and per diem expenses for activities connected directly with carrying out the proposed research, including for visits from Visiting Researchers;

III.1.e) Fellowships: Fellowships may be requested as a budget item (BCO) within the following programs and in accordance with FAPESP standards: Post-Doctorate (PD), Doctorate (DR), Honors Doctorate (DD), Masters (MS), Scientific Initiation (IC), and Technical Training (TT). Note that the advisor/supervisor for each person awarded a fellowship must be one of the Center’s PIs.

Notes on Fellowships

For each requested fellowship, a plan of activities must be presented with the initial proposal containing up to two pages, including (i) the fellowship project title, (ii) summary and (iii) plan description. The plan for each fellowship needs to be consistent with the overall Proposal and should be referenced within the Proposal in a manner that makes it possible to see the connection with, and the importance to the research project proposed.

The name of the fellowship candidate should not be indicated on the fellowship proposal. If the fellowship is approved, the researcher responsible for the grant will hold an open and competitive process to select fellowship candidates based on academic merit.

Rules for awarding Fellowships as a budget item (BCO) are available at www.fapesp.br/2615.

Scientific Initiation (Iniciação Científica) Fellowship candidates should have already concluded a sufficient number of relevant classes in order to carry out the research project and obtain maximum academic benefit.

Candidates for DR, DD and MS level Fellowships should have been accepted into the project Host Institution’s graduate program.

In the case of PD Fellowships awarded within a particular project budget, the selection process must necessarily be international and must be documented at the time that each Fellowship is awarded. If documentary evidence of a public and international selection process is not presented, the Fellowship will not be granted by FAPESP.

SI (IC), MS, DD, DR and PD Fellowships may also be requested separately, as Complementary Requests, in accordance with item 4 below.

III.2. Overhead (Technical Reserve)

FAPESP rules for Technical Reserve in Thematic Projects apply, with certain modifications with respect to the schedule. The Technical Reserve is composed of three parts:

III.2.a) Additional benefits;

III.2.b) Overhead for direct expenses with research infrastructure (15%);

III.2.c) Overhead for institutional expenses with research infrastructure (15%);

III.2.d) Overhead for Knowledge-Management expenses (10%).

The detailed rules for use of the Technical Reserve are available at www.fapesp.br/rt. Part of the Technical Reserve (item III.2.d) will be allocated to the Hub-Institution activities described in the Knowledge Management Plan.

III.3. Research Infrastructure Grant

In the initial request, or when reports are presented, the PI may request funds for minor infrastructure modifications where these are necessary to develop the project. New construction is not funded by FAPESP. This request should be justified in detail and be associated with relevant funding contributed by the Host Institution.

III. 4. Complementary requests

All items needed to develop the project are expected to be accounted for in the Proposal; however, exceptionally, FAPESP may consider additional (“complementary”) requests associated with the Proposal. These are requests associated with modifications to the objectives of the Research Division(s) after the initial Proposal selection. Such items may include requests for support fpr visiting researchers and requests for the payment of page charges for publications.

Complementary requests must be related to activities within the approved Research Division Plan term. For fellowship and visiting researcher awards, the schedule must be compatible with the Research Division Plan and executed in a manner that will allow fully effective contributions to be made to the Research Division(s). The PI must endorse all complementary requests.

Requests declined by FAPESP as complementary requests may be submitted as Independent and non-connected requests.

Complementary requests for visiting-researcher support, or requests for page-charge payments may be waived from external analysis and analyzed by the Area or Supervising Panel.

Complementary Requests for MS, DR, DD and PD Fellowships will receive priority in evaluation, if they meet the required conditions. With respect to complementary requests for PD Fellowships, there is differential treatment with respect to duration (see www.fapesp.br/270).

Complementary requests must be submitted individually using the appropriate forms and accompanied with relevant documentation, as described in the respective manual. Furthermore, they must be accompanied by the ERC project summary. These requests will be regarded by FAPESP as separate to the ERC proposal and funds awarded will not be subtracted from the project budget.

III.5. Note on use of Company funding

The application of Company funding will be limited to expenditures allowed by Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) Resolution 50/2015 and its respective Technical Regulation 3/2015 (available at: www.anp.gov.br/wwwanp/pesquisa-desenvolvimento-e-inovacao/investimentos-em-p-d-i/regulamentacao-tecnica-relativa-aos-investimentos-em-p-d-i). That includes the hiring of researchers and technical support staff needed for the project and salaries supplementation for faculty or researchers employed by the institutions participating in the Center. The funds contributed by Company will be disbursed to the Host Institution(s), provided the Host Institution(s) is (/are) accredited by ANP.

Items that may be financed include the following:

Cost of the research project

III.5.a) Permanent materials acquired in Brazil or imported;

III.5.b) Software licenses;

III.5.c) Bibliographic material (scientific books, thesis, maps, dictionaries, technical standards, etc.).

III.5.d) Consumables acquired in Brazil or imported;

III.5.e) Third party technical services acquired in Brazil or abroad;

III.5.f) Fellowships: Fellowships may be requested as a budget item of a particular Project and in accordance with FAPESP standards: Post-Doctorate (PD), Doctorate (DR), Honors Doctorate (DD), Masters (MS), Scientific Initiation (IC), and Technical Training (TT). Note that the advisor/supervisor for each fellowship must be one of the Center’s Co-PIs.

III.5.g) Salary supplementation for faculty or researchers employed by the institutions participating in the project, observing conditions and requirements from Law 10.973/2004 (“Lei de Inovação”).

A summarized table of items supported by FAPESP and Company can be found below:

Expense to be funded

FAPESP

Company

Salary supplementation for faculty or researchers employed by the institutions participating in the project

 

X

Research equipment

X

X1

Software licenses

X

X

Bibliographic material

X

X

Consumables

X

X

Third-party technical services

X

X

Per diem allowances

X

X

Tickets for travel and transportation

X

X

Conference registration fees

X

X

Living expenses for visiting researchers

X

 

Civil construction through modification of existing facilities

 

X2

Fellowships

X

X


Notes:

1. Purchase of research equipment using Company support should consider limit of R$ 200,000 per Project;

2. Although laboratory refurbishment is allowed by ANP Resolution 50/2015 and its respective Technical Regulation 3/2015, preference should be given to allocate those expenses, if required, to FAPESP.

 

Annex IV: Detailed description of the topics of interest

In the coming decades the share of renewable energy in the energy mix will expand substantially in all parts of the world. This development is driven by the spectacular ongoing reductions in costs of solar and wind energy. As a consequence, it is expected that ‘renewable electrons’ will become the most economically available energy source in the second half of the 21st century.

Given these developments, Shell has recently launched a Long Range Research (LRR) platform as part of its Technology Strategy Refresh. This platform comprises the following four programs:

Program 1: Advanced Energy Storage

Background

In order to facilitate the growth and uptake of renewable energy in a more electrified energy system, efficient and economical means of storing electricity is essential. While the Shell Group is best known for its presence in oil and natural gas, Shell is also actively involved in electrical power sector, through businesses in wind (Shell Wind Energy Inc.) and through Shell Trading & Supply. Shell has been building experience in electrical energy storage and systems integration technologies over the past four years at multiple scales and through a variety of mechanisms, including venture capital investments and testing of storage for renewables integration.

This program aims to answer fundamental questions about electrochemical energy storage materials and devices. The focus of the Advanced Energy Storage (AES) program is on the underlying scientific phenomena that are expected to provide significant breakthroughs, rather than the specific challenges associated with developing or manufacturing existing technologies.

Program Scope

Safely increasing energy density and cycle life are central to successful, expanded deployment of energy storage technologies across markets and uses. It is recognized that there are many approaches available to address the current challenges for both mobility and stationary applications of energy, whether tackling materials properties (e.g. electrodes), transport phenomena (e.g. fluid flow, gas diffusion), or ionic conductivity (e.g. electrolytes).

Since significant efforts in industry and academia are already in progress globally to advance the performance and commercialization of lithium-ion batteries, the AES research portfolio does not include projects aimed at improvements of these systems.

The AES program expects to include research on batteries with both intercalation-based and conversion-based electrodes, electrolytes of various types, and other storage devices, including flow batteries and supercapacitors. Research projects are aimed at exploring phenomena at various length- and time-scales, while being limited to topics that directly influence the function of an individual cell.

Topics of Interest

The following areas of interest are being explored with potential research partners.

IV.1.a Fundamental understanding of physical and chemical processes to solve key challenges in batteries

IV.1.a.1 Ionic mobility in intercalation electrodes and in electrolytes

IV.1.a.2 Phenomena at interfaces (nucleation and growth phenomena, challenges associated with multivalent chemistry, interface instability)

IV.1.a.3 Highly conductive electrolytes that remain stable at higher voltages

IV.1.a.4 Battery chemistries that make use of metal anodes, multivalent systems, solid-state electrolytes and other novel approaches are examples of systems of interest for exploring the key phenomena described above.

IV.1.b Advanced methods for electrochemical energy storage research

IV.1.b.1 Characterization: In situ and operando electron microscopy; other novel analytical methods that yield insights into the operation of electrochemical storage devices

IV.1.b.2 Material synthesis: exploration of advantaged routes, construction of model systems

IV.1.c Driving discovery through computational techniques over multiple length- and time-scales. Example areas where methods could be applied to direct experimental work include:

IV.1.c.1 Identification of electrode materials and electrolytes with significantly improved properties

IV.1.c.2 Multiscale methods to link ab initio calculations with cell-level insights

IV.1.c.3 Methods to facilitate the collection and integration of experimental data with computational models

Topics not of Interest

a) Formulation of lithium-ion chemistries for improved performance

b) Pack-level design, manufacturing or commercialization

Program 2: Dense Energy Carriers

In a low-cost electricity world, molecules still have a very significant role to play for several applications as molecules offer a high product utility combined with lowest handling/storage costs. More specifically, molecules offer the highest energy densities when compared to any form of electricity storage and are therefore within Shell referred to as ‘Dense Energy Carriers (DEC)’. With this in mind there is a clear need for the development of cost effective and efficient solar driven routes to synthesize relevant product molecules from molecules that are widely available in the environment. This implies synthesis of molecules like hydrogen, methanol, hydrocarbons or ammonia from water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Carbon dioxide necessarily will need to be captured from the environment; for instance, from the air.

An illustrative (by no means limiting) example is the electrolysis of water into hydrogen (and oxygen) using ‘green power’ followed by the subsequent conversion of hydrogen and CO2 into methanol. We are looking for collaboration in the broad area of solar driven synthesis of Dense Energy Carriers. We do not want to limit your thinking in any way and we would like to invite you to bring up and discuss any specific route that meets the above criteria.

Topics of Interest

IV.2 Possible routes towards low-cost electricity from solar PV:

IV.2.a.1 Understand materials and manufacturing challenges (e.g. thin films, lasers, robotics, OLED, coatings, ALD)

IV.2.a.2 Leverage these technologies into PV manufacturing

IV.2.b Production of synthesis gas (CO and H2), alcohols or hydrocarbons from CO2 and water

IV.2.c Development of novel materials (e.g. electrodes, electrolytes, and structured catalyst) for photo-electrochemical conversion

IV.2.d Capture of CO2 from the atmosphere and its integration to synthesis of DECs

IV.2.e Artificial photosynthesis systems (artificial leaf devices). We seek ideas for the development of artificial systems that mimic natural photosynthesis; Explore novel, high-efficiency 1) solar energy harvesting systems; 2) water splitting mechanisms; 3) methods of CO2 capture from the environment integrated with CO2 reduction for the production of C-based molecules (DECs). Preference is for approaches that integrate all processes in a single system.

Topics not of Interest

a) Biomass gasification processes

b) Biomass fermentation processes

c) Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS)

The aim of the program is to better articulate, understand, and ultimately solve fundamental (scientific) questions that drive or limit performance improvements in the aforementioned topics. Any proposal should include a brief analysis regarding the potential of the envisaged technology to play a substantial role at world scale. For instance, a technology that employs earth abundant materials holds a larger promise than a technology that does not. Naturally, the desired ‘substantial role at world scale’ can be achieved through a favorable economy of scale of a single unit, but also through the economy of numbers of many units.

Program 3: Methane to Products

Within LRR, ‘Methane to Products’ (M2P) is the program where the proposition is to unlock new monetization routes for methane as a chemical feedstock. Currently, the economic value of methane is mainly driven by its energy content. As renewable energy resources become cheaper and more abundantly available, the natural gas reserves will move from being a valuable energy carrier to an advantaged feedstock.

Therefore, the objective is to find new credible pathways from methane to high-value large-volume products (order of magnitude on par with current NG consumption for energy, i.e. millions of BOE per day), particularly in market segments where competition from new energies is structurally limited. Examples include a range of base chemicals (e.g. methanol, acetylene, ethylene), but also potential new outlets such as carbon-based materials for construction, building and agricultural applications.

Despite decades of research there are to date still no clear winners for direct conversion routes of methane. Activating and converting the methane molecule typically requires higher temperatures and/or catalysis. However, the resulting products are typically more reactive than methane leading to undesired by-products. Thus the main challenge is not so much the activation of methane, but rather the ability to mitigate the sequential and parallel reactions that lower selectivity.

Conventional direct conversion routes include pyrolytic pathways and oxidative pathways. Pyrolytic pathways are (strongly) endothermic yielding fundamental challenges such as the need for substantial heat input (at high temperatures), and equilibrium-limitations, resulting in partial conversions per pass (with its downstream separation challenges). Oxidative pathways are typically strongly exothermic, requiring heat removal, and thus not limited by equilibrium, but have similar challenges in heat management, reactivity of the products (against the oxidant), and/or downstream separation and recycle.

By exploring new developments made in scientific fields such as electro-chemistry, nano-materials, structured catalysts, computational sciences and synthetic biology combined with the availability of cheap electrons (i.e. energy), fundamentally different approaches might become available for converting methane.

Topics of Interest

IV.3.a Direct conversion of methane specifically to: carbon (aiming for well defined morphologies such as CNT), methanol or acetylene

IV.3.b Exploring new products / (large) markets using methane as feedstock

IV.3.c Understanding the fundamental challenges in (catalytic) methane conversions routes

IV.3.d Exploring fundamentally different / new methane conversions route (such as full catalytic cycles)

IV.3.e Exploring novel separation routes, for ‘classical’ downstream separation

IV.3.f Integrating separation into the reactor to drive the conversion in equilibrium-limited reactions (e.g. membrane reactor)

IV.3.g Improved reactor concepts to better manage heat addition or removal requirements

IV.3.h Using “cheap” electricity as the energy source driving the conversion process (e.g. electric heating, electrochemistry, plasma, …)

Topics not of Interest

a) Incremental improvements of existing processes, for instance: synthesis gas manufacturing

b) Niche compounds from methane

Program 4: Computational Material Science and Chemistry

Background

To advance in renewable and carbon neutral energy research, relying solely on empirical research is expensive and the question of how to select the right combination of materials as well as architecture for optimal performance for a given energy application, efficient use of computational research is essential. We would like to take full advantage of both existing computational tools and new methods and techniques developed as necessary in developing building renewable energy research/technology portfolio.

Program Scope

The LRR compute program is expected to cut across all Long Range Research programs. One of the key aspects of the LRR compute program is to develop the computational tools in close collaboration with experimental efforts.

Topics of Interest

IV.4.a High throughput virtual screening: Application of advanced machine learning tools & statistical analyses on materials properties from material databases and high-throughput simulations, leading to faster prediction of materials properties and acceleration of materials discovery.

IV.4.b Modeling Solid-Liquid interfaces: Solid-liquid interfaces are important and responsible for several processes in chemical, physical and biological sciences. Therefore, fundamental understanding of solid-liquid interfaces is essential in connection to finding new materials for several areas in long range research including in energy storage, heterogeneous catalysis as well as photo(electro)catalysis.

IV.4.c Multi-scale methods for Advanced Energy storage research: Designing better electrode and electrolyte materials via high-throughput materials screening, atomistic through cell level simulations, battery architecture and materials optimization and cycle life prediction.

IV.4.d Modeling Fundamental Processes to Device Optimization for Solar to Fuels: Modeling light harvesting, exciton dissociation, charge transport, photocatalysis, band gap engineering, CO2 capture & conversion, separation, materials architecture and device optimization.

IV.4.e Modeling of materials for separation: Conversion of methane to higher hydrocarbon generates hydrogen and other hydrocarbons as by-products. Separation and removal of these unwanted products from the reaction zone is crucial for improving conversion efficiency of the system. We are interested in exploring the compositional and processing space computationally for different separation materials and methods with the aim of down-selecting the most appropriate one.

IV.4.f Multiscale approach for novel catalysts: Exploring catalyst structure-property-processing-performance paradigm via multiscale simulations of catalyst compositions, morphology, defect structures and coupled reaction-flow kinetics.

Topics not of Interest

None

 

Annex V: Compliance with Laws, Ethics and Business Principles

V.1. No Breach of Applicable Laws: FAPESP and Company agree and declare, and all participants in this Call for Research Proposals upon submitting a proposal are deemed to agree and declare that, with regard to the activities contemplated herein, neither the Parties themselves nor any of their associated companies or shareholders, or their respective administrators, officers, attorneys-in-fact, representatives or employees will:

V.1.a) Offer, promise to do or give, do or give any advantage, payment or gift or transfer any valuable item, directly or indirectly, to any person, public official of any government or governmental body or any political party, employee or candidate of any political party with the purpose of influencing acts or omissions of such person, public official, political party or candidate;

V.1.b) Favor any person with the intention of inducing him/her to violate the duties inherent to a position or the duty to act in good faith and impartially; or

V.1.c) Practice any other act that may lead to the breach of any applicable laws related to bribery, corruption or similar activities, including, but not limited to:

V.1.c.1) The laws of the Federative Republic of Brazil;

V.1.c.2) The laws to which the Parties and its controllers are subject to and the laws of any other country in which the Parties are registered or maintain their business;

V.1.c.3) The principles described in the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, signed in Paris, on December 17, 1997, and which entered into force on February 15, 1999, and the Comments of the Convention;

V.1.c.4) The United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or the principles of the referred act; and

V.1.c.5) The 2010 United Kingdom Bribery Act or the principles of the referred act.

V.2 Business Activities: The Parties also agree and undertake to, on their own behalf and on behalf of any affiliate or shareholder and their respective officers, representatives and employees, not to pay or promise to pay any fees or commissions or grant any discounts to any Company employee, administrator, officer, attorney-in-fact, subcontractor or representative or any of its associated companies or shareholders, or give or cause to give to any of them gifts or entertainment of significant cost or value in relation to this Agreement or with the purpose of influencing or inducing any acts or omissions related to the Parties’ business activities in accordance with this Call for Research Proposals.

V.3 Compliance Clauses: The selected participants in this Call for Research Proposals upon submitting a proposal are deemed to acknowledge and agree that the agreement referred in section 11 will contain compliance clauses with detailed rights and obligations attributable to its signatories, which content is not limited to the principles and obligations outlined in this Annex V.