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FAPESP - BE-BASIC Call for Proposals 2011

BIOEN Program

FAPESP/BE-BASIC Call for Proposals

The State of São Paulo Research Foundation, FAPESP, and the BE-Basic Consortium (The Netherlands) make this Call for Research Proposals public and invite interested researchers that are associated to non-profit higher education and research institutions in the State of São Paulo to submit research proposals according to the FAPESP/BE-Basic Memorandum of Understanding and to the conditions described below.

FAPESP has been supporting research projects relevant for the advancement of knowledge and technology in Bioenergy. For 48 years the Foundation has fostered, through its several research funding instruments, a large number of research projects in themes related to Energy and the Environment. Besides advancing fundamental and applied knowledge of Bioenergy, the FAPESP Research Program on Bioenergy (BIOEN) aims at contributing decisively towards the formation of scientific and technical personnel in the field of Bioenergy R&D.

The BE-Basic Consortium is a Public-Private Consortium composed of mainly Dutch universities, knowledge institutes and companies which have received a research grant from Dutch Ministries to execute the BE-Basic Program. The purpose of the Program is to develop the required knowledge and technology to stimulate bio-based ecologically-balanced and sustainable industrial chemistry.

FAPESP and BE-Basic are collaborating in a Joint Call for Proposals (JCFP), with the aim of promoting and supporting research projects involving the collaboration between scientists working in public or private non-profit research and higher education institutions in the State of São Paulo, Brazil and scientists associated to BE-Basic in The Netherlands. The research projects should help to build up scientific and technological competencies, foster strategic alliances for scientific and technological development, promote the dissemination of knowledge and generate results which potentially could lead to applications with commercial value in the areas of interest to FAPESP and BE-Basic.

1. Relevant themes for this Call for Proposals

In this Call for Proposals, BE-Basic and FAPESP intend to jointly fund collaborative research projects including, but not restricted to the following areas:

1.1 Synthetic Biology for Biofuels and Bio-based chemicals

Development of tools or generation of fundamental knowledge related to the manipulation of plants and microorganisms for the production of biofuels and bio-based chemicals.

Scope
a) Industrial microbiology.
b) Bioprospection and directed evolution of microorganisms.
c) Automation, robotics for screening and selection of organisms (plants or microorganisms).
d) Metabolic engineering.
e) Design of proteins and enzymes.
f) DNA synthesis, expression systems.
g) Systems biology.
h) Synthetic chemistry.
i) Consolidated bioprocessing

1.2 Sustainability

Monitoring biofuel expansion, new technologies and their impacts on sustainability (economic, social and environmental); providing/generating data and tools for establishing measurable indicators of sustainability of bioenergy; developing methodologies, models and activities (including education and communication) to integrate areas related to sustainability from a global perspective.

Scope
a) Land use changes.
b) GHG emissions.
c) Biomass and soil carbon stocks.
d) Water use.
e) GMO impacts, public perception of new technologies using plants and microorganisms.
f) Biodiversity and Ecosystem services.
g) Regional income generation.
h) Job creation and migration.
i) Social and economic impacts.
j) Integrating tools for impact evaluation.
k) Governance

2. Rules for Project Submission

The application requirements of this call for research proposals should be rigorously followed. Please read them carefully. Applications that fail to comply with these requirements will not be considered.

a) Proposals must be submitted only to FAPESP by researchers based at institutions in the State of São Paulo.

b) The Proposal must be unique, i.e., written jointly by the BE-Basic and São Paulo researchers under collaboration. Proposals will only be eligible when both parties are involved.

c) Proposals must be written in English.

d) Each Proposal must have a Principal Investigator in the Netherlands and a Principal Investigator in São Paulo State. The proposal must describe the work to be developed by each party.

e) Applicants from São Paulo must comply with FAPESP’s eligibility rules for research grant applications. Proposals should be presented to FAPESP in accordance to one of the following Research Award schemes:

i. Regular Research Awards: applications must be submitted by researchers from public or private non-profit higher education and research institutions in the State of São Paulo, Brazil.
ii. Young Investigator Awards: applications must be for research projects to be developed in public or private non-profit higher education and research institutions in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The PI does not need to be professionally associated with the institution at the time of submission.

Specific submission forms are available for each Research scheme (please see item 8.3.a)

f) Applicants from The Netherlands must ensure that the activities are embedded in an approved BE-Basic project. They should complete the form “Cover Note for Collaboration BIOEN - BE-Basic” and fill in a budget form if additional funds are required.

3. Characteristics of the research proposals

The grant applications should target:

3.1 New and creative solutions

Applications should not be aimed at incremental engineering, with guaranteed results. This program seeks research proposals that create and explore new technologies and knowledge and that contribute to the development of human resources in the field of Bioenergy. FAPESP and BE-Basic encourage bold, novel and unconventional original approaches to address the scientific and technological challenges listed in item 1.

3.2 Communication of results

Research results should be widely communicated through relevant scientific communities using established academic channels, such as international conferences and refereed journals. Other channels for community development include regional workshops, graduate seminars, and curriculum components such as courses or course materials.

4. FAPESP/BE-Basic Cooperation Terms of Acceptance

Researchers and Institutions will join the FAPESP/BE-Basic Program under the following terms:

a) Any obtained result will immediately integrate the FAPESP/BIOEN Information System.

b) Intellectual property originated from the FAPESP/BE-Basic Cooperation will be shared among the institutions that host the selected proposals subject to an Agreement that will be celebrated between them.

c) On the BE-Basic side one institution will be designated “Lead Owner”. BE-Basic partners who are Lead Owners in a FAPESP/BE-Basic project are committed to the rules in the BE-Basic Consortium Agreement.

d) Attendance to FAPESP/BE-Basic Workshops and work meetings will be mandatory. Principle Investigators must stimulate the participation of all students and postdoctoral researchers attached to the project.

e) The Steering Committee of the FAPESP/BE-Basic Cooperation must be notified prior to any publication of results. The Steering Committee will evaluate if the results obtained require the securement of intellectual property rights (see item 6.2).

5. Funds available for this Call for Research Proposals

a) The total amount of resources available for the selected Proposals is US$ 2 million, evenly balanced between FAPESP and BE-Basic.

b) The appropriateness of the requested funding amount in relation to the proposal’s objectives and the qualification of the proposing team is a primary review consideration.

c) FAPESP reserves itself the right to adjust the budget requested for each Proposal.

6. Intellectual Property and Publications

6.1 Intellectual Property

a) Due to its multi-institutional nature, the FAPESP/BE-Basic Cooperation will require an Agreement between the host institutions regarding the management and the division of the income resulting from intellectual property. FAPESP and BE-Basic will jointly coordinate the formal proceedings towards this Agreement.

b) Intellectual property resulting from FAPESP funded research projects or work packages shall be subject to the applicable FAPESP rules on intellectual property rights. FAPESP´s IP policy is available at: www.fapesp.br/pi.

c) Intellectual property resulting from BE-Basic research projects or work packages shall be subject to the applicable provisions in the BE-Basic Consortium Agreement. More information available at: http://www.be-basic.org.

d) In cases where intellectual property rights are generated based on input from both FAPESP and BE-Basic parties there will be joint ownership. In such cases, the generating parties will in good faith endeavor to establish a Joint Ownership Agreement regarding the allocation and terms of exercising that joint ownership, taking into account both FAPESP and BE-Basic’s relevant provisions on intellectual property rights.

6.2 Publications

a) FAPESP and BE-Basic Parties recognize and promote the necessity to publish results for academic research and educational purposes. However, Parties also recognize that the need to file foreground IP may temporarily limit dissemination of results until filing is completed. Dissemination of results via publication or presentation of results by Parties shall only be done after prior written approval by the Steering Committee.

b) Approval to publish or present the results will be deemed granted in case the Steering Committee has neither indicated that the manuscript of the publication include confidential information pursuant to article 6.2.e nor indicate foreground IP possibilities to the Party requesting publication or presentation within one month after submission of said results to the Steering Committee.

c) In case the Steering Committee does identify potential for foreground IP claims the inventing/generating Party will be instructed to lay down the invention in an invention disclosure and seek patent protection by filing foreground IP claims on its own account and on its own costs prior to publication or presentation. The publication or presentation of results will be delayed for the duration of the patent filing process, but at no time longer than six months after the results are disclosed to the Steering Committee.

d) FAPESP will be acknowledged as provider of the funds and the BE-Basic Program will explicitly be mentioned in each publication and presentation regarding results originating from the program.

e) A Party may not publish results, foreground IP, confidential information or background knowledge of another Party, even if such results, foreground IP, confidential information or background knowledge is amalgamated with the Party’s foreground, without the other Party’s prior written approval.

7. Allowable Costs

The following items can be included in the budget:

7.1 From FAPESP

a) All types of expenses traditionally funded by FAPESP in the Research Award scheme chosen by the applicant.

b) FELLOWSHIPS:

i. Young Investigator Awards: Technical Training, Scientific Initiation, Direct Doctorate and Young Investigator Fellowships may be requested.
ii. Regular Research Awards: Technical Training Fellowships may be requested.
iii. In both cases, the duration of the fellowships cannot outlast the grant. The advisor must be the Principle Investigator responsible for the Proposal with the exception of the Young Investigator Fellowship, which can only be awarded to the project’s PI.

7.2 From BE-Basic

a) Researchers from BE-Basic need to indicate which parts of their linked BE-Basic project are related to the proposed collaboration activities (format provided in the “Cover Note”).

b) Moreover, they can request additional funds such as staff exchanges and the organization and attendance to workshops. These costs need to be justified in terms of relevance to the collaboration in the Cover Note and specified (including matching funds) in a separate budget form.

8. Proposal Format

8.1. Project Duration

a) Proposals for Regular Research Awards will have a maximum duration of 24 months.

b) Proposals for Young Investigator Awards will have a maximum duration of 48 months.

8.2. Proposal language and formatting

a) Proposals must be submitted in English, with exception of items 8.3.a and 8.3.b of this Call for Proposals which must be in Portuguese (see below).

b) Proposals must be submitted in hard copy and the items 8.3.a through 8.3.e must additionally be submitted as an electronic copy in a single PDF file, burned in a CD/DVD media.

c) All text with limited number of pages must be written in Times New Roman with font size 11, or equivalent, and 1.5 paragraph spacing.

8.3) Required Documents, and Project and Budget Organization

a) FAPESP submission forms specific to this call for Regular Research Awards or Young Investigator Awards must be used. These forms list further required obligatory documentation, accordingly to each Research scheme regulations. Forms available at:

a.1) For Regular Research Awards

a.2) For Young Investigator Awards

b) FAPESP research team listing form.

c) Summary of the Curriculum Vitae (in English) of the Principal Investigators from FAPESP and BE-Basic following the instructions available at www.fapesp.br/en/6351

d) Executive Summary in English (maximum of two pages) containing:

d.1) Proposal title;
d.2) Aims from FAPESP and BE-Basic parties stating how they complement the overall goals of the cooperation;
d.3) Total budget requested to FAPESP and BE-Basic;
d.4) Project Area - it is essential to specify any associations between the proposal and the themes listed in item 1;
d.5) Main goals;
d.6) Specific goals;
d.7) Significance and relevance;
d.8) Expected results and products to be obtained identifying which side is responsible for delivering each result;
d.9) Current Grants (from FAPESP and other funding agencies).

e) Research Proposal: must be written in English and must cover items 1 to 15 of the Guidelines described in Annex I of this Call for Research Proposals. The items 1 to 12 must occupy no more than 30 pages, typed in Times New Roman, font size 11 and 1.5 paragraph spacing. Please use the headings listed in the items 1 to 15 of Appendix I as the section headings.

f) Cover Note as part of the Research Proposal mentioned above (item 5 of the Guidelines - Annex I);

g) Budget worksheets from FAPESP, by each type of expenses. The standard file for both award schemes is available at: www.fapesp.br/materia/4523.

h) Budget worksheet from BE-Basic for additional costs, as described in the Cover Note.

9. Communications regarding this Call for Research Proposals

9.1. Application submission

Hard copies of the Proposals must be mailed (until the closing date for submissions) to FAPESP along with the CD/DVD described in item 8.2.b to the following address and identified as “PROPOSTA DE PESQUISA SUBMETIDA AO CONVÊNIO FAPESP/BE-BASIC”:

FAPESP – Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do estado de São Paulo
Rua Pio XI, 1500 - Alto da Lapa
CEP 05468-901 - São Paulo - SP

9.2. Queries

Queries for this call for research grant proposals will be dealt by Mr. Alexandre Roccatto. All queries should be sent to chamada-fapesp-be-basic@fapesp.br. To insure a prompt reply, please use "FAPESP/BE-Basic Call" as the email subject.

Queries in relation to BE-Basic should be addressed to the BE-Basic Support Office: supportoffice@be-basic.org.

10. Review process

All received applications considered eligible to this call for grant proposals will be reviewed in two steps:

10.1 Adequacy to the FAPESP/BE-Basic Cooperation

a) The application adequacy will be evaluated by the Steering Committee that will write a summary report to be used during the evaluation process.

b) The Steering Committee will analyze the adequacy of the application following the criteria described below:

b.1) Accordance of the grant application to the relevant themes listed on item 1;

b.2) Potential to collaborate with current grants funded by the BIOEN Program and the BE-Basic Programs;

b.3) Perspective to integrate the grant application with current grants funded by the BIOEN and BE-Basic Programs;

b.4) How the BIOEN and BE-Basic Programs can contribute to the Proposal.

10.2. Analysis and selection of the Proposals considered adequate by the FAPESP/BE-Basic Program

The merit of each application will be reviewed using external peer review and internal specialists following the selection criteria used by FAPESP in Regular Research Awards or Young Researcher Awards.

All the Proposals will be analyzed using the following additional criteria:

a) Adequacy to the terms specified in this Call for Proposals;

b) Originality and audacity of the proposed project regarding the chosen field of research that would, if successful, have the potential to be a breakthrough in the research area;

c) Research project quality regarding clarity of objectives, challenges to be faced, and methods and materials to be used in comparison to the state-of-the-art in the field;

d) Adequacy to the infra-structure of the institution where the research will be conducted;

e) Principle Investigator and team qualifications assessed by prior research results in the relevant areas, success in previous grants, awards, teaching activity recognition, and publications using the Curriculum Vitae of the main researchers;

f) Project viability, including budget adequacy, institutional support, reasonable timetables, size and quality of the team, amount of financial resources and efficient use of resources;

g) Potential for ample use and dissemination of the generated Intellectual Property, including plans for research publication, conference presentations, and plans for content distribution in multiple formats and media;

h) Training of new researchers and personnel during the project execution;

i) The added value of the BIOEN/BE-Basic collaboration to the project.

11. Schedule

Event Date
Call announcement

August 15, 2011

Closing date for submissions

October 17, 2011

Notification of successful proposals

from April 16, 2012

12. Grants, progress analysis and evaluation

If the proposal is approved a Grant Contract will be made, to be signed by FAPESP, the Principle Investigator from São Paulo State and a representative of the research institution where the project will be developed.

The results will be evaluated by progress reports and financial reports that must be submitted in the dates established in the Grant Contract.


13. Grant Cancelation

The grant may be cancelled by FAPESP or BE-Basic if a significant event justifies its cancellation in the opinion of the Steering Committee, without reducing the possibility of other sanctions.


Annex 1: Guidelines for the Research Proposal