FAPESP (www.fapesp.br/en) is a public foundation, funded by taxpayers in the state of São Paulo, with the mission to support research projects in institutions of higher education and research in all fields of knowledge. São Paulo has a population of 40 million and generates 35% of Brazil’s GNP. The state constitution establishes that 1% of all state tax revenue belongs to the Foundation and the government transfers these funds monthly. The stability of funding and autonomy of the Foundation allow for efficient management of the resources, which has had a sizeable impact: while São Paulo has 22% of the Brazil’s population and 30% of its scientists with doctorates, the state contributes 52% of the country’s scientific articles published in international journals.
The Foundation works in close contact with the scientific community: all proposals are peer reviewed with the help of area panels composed of active researchers. Besides funding research in all fields, the Foundation supports large research programs in Biodiversity, Bioenergy, Global Climate Change, and Neuroscience.
FAPESP’s expenditures in 2013 were R$1.085 billion (approximately US$500 million). Thirty-seven percent of the expenditures supported basic research; 10% supported research infrastructure; and 53% supported application-oriented research, in many cases performed at small businesses or through joint research by academia and industry. The percentage invested in applied research has been growing in recent years, consistently with the Foundation’s mandate to foster the scientific and technological development in the state of São Paulo.
FAPESP maintains cooperation agreements with national and international research funding agencies, institutions of higher educational and research and business enterprises. The international cooperation covers a broad range of countries and agencies (www.fapesp.br/en/6812) including the UK Research Councils, the Agence Nationale de Recherche (ANR) in France, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) in Germany, and the NSF in the U.S.
FAPESP offers many programs to support foreign scientists willing to work in research institutions in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. These include: post-doctoral fellowships (www.fapesp.br/en/5427), young investigator awards (www.fapesp.br/en/4479) and visiting researcher grants (www.fapesp.br/147).