FAPESP - BE-BASIC Call for Proposals 2013

The 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 over 50 years the Foundation has funded, 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 industrial bio-based solutions for a sustainable society.

FAPESP and BE-Basic are collaborating in a Joint Call for Proposals (JCFP), with the aim to promote and support 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 aim to 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.


a) Industrial microbiology, metabolic engineering, systems biology.

b) Bioprospection and directed evolution of microorganisms.

c) Automation, robotics for screening and selection of organisms (plants or microorganisms), DNA synthesis, expression systems.

d) Synthetic chemistry, design of proteins and enzymes.

e) 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.


a) Soil and crop management, nutrient cycles.

b) Social, environmental and economic impacts.

c) Policy and public perception.

1.3 Biofuel Industrial Technologies

Consolidated process development; analysis and evaluation, bioprocess integration; energy consumption reduction; process intensification; heat and mass integration; residual streams and vinasse as feedstock for chemicals, energy and biogas.


a) Consolidated bioprocessing.

b) Integration and intensification of bioprocesses.

c) Use of residual streams; uses for vinasse.

2. Rules for Project Submission

Please read carefully and follow rigorously the application requirements of this Call Applications that fail to comply with these requirements will be disconsidered.

a) The partner researchers based at institutions in the State of São Paulo must submit proposals to FAPESP.

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

c) Research projects must be in English.

d) Each Proposal must have a Principal Investigator (PI) in the Netherlands and a Principal Investigator in São Paulo State. The proposal must describe the work planned for each party involved in the project.

e) Applicants from São Paulo must meet FAPESP’s eligibility requirements. Proposals submitted to FAPESP must be in accordance to one of the following Research Award schemes:

i. Regular Research Awards (www.fapesp.br/137)

ii. Young Investigator Awards www.fapesp.br/en/6251)

iii. Thematic Project Awards (www.fapesp.br/176)

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

f) Applicants from The Netherlands must ensure that the activities embed in an approved BE-Basic project or are part of a new project submitted for approval in BE-Basic. In case the joint project does not (yet) relate to an approved or submitted for approval BE-Basic project, please follow the instructions given under item 7. BE-Basic applicants should complete the form “Cover Note for Collaboration BIOEN - BE-Basic” and fill in a budget form specifying the input from the project partners and the additional funds required to carry out the collaborative project. These forms should also be sent to FAPESP with the other FAPESP forms.

3. Characteristics of the research proposals

The grant applications should target:

3.1 New and creative solutions

Applications should not aim at incremental engineering, with guaranteed results. This program seeks research proposals that create and explore new technologies and knowledge and that contributes 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 following the procedure described under items 4.e) and 6.2. 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 may join the FAPESP/BE-Basic Program under the following terms:

a) Project leaders will ensure that FAPESP BIOEN and BE-Basic rules for publication and Intellectual Property (IP) are followed as described in items 4.e) and 6.2).

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

c) On the BE-Basic side one institution will be designated “Lead Owner”. A BE-Basic partner who is Lead Owner in a FAPESP/BE-Basic project is 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) Notification of the Steering Committee of the FAPESP/BE-Basic Cooperation must precede any publication of results. The Steering Committee will evaluate if the results obtained require the securement of intellectual property rights (please 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$ 3 million, evenly balanced between FAPESP and BE-Basic.

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

c) FAPESP and BE-Basic reserve 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 are 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 are subject to the applicable provisions in the BE-Basic Consortium Agreement. More information available at: www.be-basic.org.

d) When Intellectual Property rights are generated by input from both FAPESP and BE-Basic parties there will be joint ownership. In such cases, the generating parties will in good faith endeavour to establish a Joint Ownership Agreement regarding the allocation and terms of exercising the 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 demand prior written approval by the Steering Committee.

b) Approval to publish or present the results will be deemed granted in case the Steering Committee neither indicates that the manuscript of the publication includes confidential information pursuant to article 6.2.e nor indicates 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 it will instruct the inventing/generating Party 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) Acknowledgement of FAPESP and the BE-Basic Program funding must be explicitly 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 amalgamates 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 costs traditionally funded by FAPESP in the Research Award scheme chosen by the applicant.

7.2 From BE-Basic

a) In case BE-Basic researchers collaborate in the framework of an already approved or submitted for approval BE-Basic project they need to indicate which parts of their linked BE-Basic project relate to the proposed collaboration activities (format provided in the “Cover Note”).

b) In the case above (7.2.a), BE-Basic researchers 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.

c) In case BE-Basic researchers collaborate in the framework of a new (joint) research proposal, not linked to an existing or proposed and submitted project, they must contact their Flagship manager and the BE-Basic Brazil Office Manager as soon as possible prior to the submission of the new joint project and follow the instructions given by the Flagship Manager and/or the BE-Basic Brazil Office Manager. In that case, additional requirements for submission of the new proposal within the BE-Basic consortium will have to be anticipated. 

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.

c) Proposals for Thematic Project Awards will have a maximum duration of 60 months. 

8.2. Proposal language and formatting

a) Proposals must be in English, with exception of items 8.3.a and 8.3.b of this Call for Proposals, which must be in Portuguese (please 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) Please use Times New Roman with font size 11, or equivalent, and 1.5 paragraph spacing for all required texts with limited number of pages. 

8.3) Required Documents, and Project and Budget Organization

a) Please, use FAPESP submission forms specific to this call for Regular Research Awards or Young Investigator Awards. These forms list further required obligatory documentation, according to each Research scheme regulations. Forms are available at: 

a.1) For Regular Research or Thematic Project 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 and solicited Grants (from FAPESP or other funding agencies).

e) Research Project: 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 Annex I as the section headings.

The Research Project includes the following document template files:

e.1) Cover Note (item 5 of the Guidelines - Annex I);

e.2) Consolidated Budget worksheet of funds requested to FAPESP and to BE-Basic and additional funds requested to or available from other sources (links for each award scheme are available in item 14 of the Guidelines - Annex I);

e.3) Budget worksheets from FAPESP by each type of expenses, as the standard FAPESP file for the three award schemes (item 14a of the Guidelines - Annex I);

e.4) Budget worksheet from BE-Basic for additional costs, as described in the Cover Note (item 14b of the Guidelines - Annex I).

9. Communications regarding this Call for Research Proposals

9.1. Proposals 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 with by Mr. Alexandre Roccatto. All queries should be send 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: support@be-basic.org 

10. Review process

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

10.1 Adequacy to the FAPESP/BE-Basic Cooperation

a) The proposal 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 analyse the adequacy of the proposal following the criteria described below:

b.1) Accordance of the grant proposal to the relevant themes listed in 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) Contribution of the proposal to the aims and objectives of the BIOEN and BE-Basic programs.

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

The merit of each application will be analysed by external peer reviewers (at least one provided by BE-Basic) and FAPESP’s panels following the selection criteria used by FAPESP for each award scheme.

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

a) Adequacy to the conditions 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, and methods and materials to be used in comparison to the state-of-the-art in the field;

d) Adequacy to the infrastructure of the host institutions;

e) Principle Investigators 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) Added value of the BIOEN/BE-Basic collaboration to the project.

11. Schedule



Call announcement

September 19th, 2013

Closing date for submissions

November 30th, 2013

Notification of successful proposals

from May 16th, 2014

12. Grant Contracts, progress analysis and evaluation

For approved proposals, FAPESP, the Principle Investigator from São Paulo State and a representative of the host research institution will sign a grant contract. BE-Basic shall issue a grant letter with budget allocation to the PI representing the BE-Basic partners.

The results are evaluated by progress reports and financial reports that must be submitted by the dates established in the Grant Contract. The Principle Investigator from The Netherlands must follow the normal procedure in BE-Basic and the instructions of the BE-Basic support office.

13. Grant Cancelation

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

(The FAPESP e-mail above, used specifically for this call for proposals, is no longer valid)