FAPESP and Braskem will fund the new Plasticulture Research Center

16 de março de 2021

FAPESP and Braskem announce a new call for proposals for the establishment of the Plasticulture Research Center. The new center will integrate the Engineering Research Centers (ERC) program, which enables synergies between the private sector and the academic sector in order to produce and disseminate world-class research, generating high economic and social impact through innovation.

The new center will drive scientific advances that reveal the potential of plastic culture – the use of plastic in rural production – to increase the availability of food that reaches 2the market and make it more accessible to the largest number of people.

In addition, the Center must develop solutions that allow cost reduction, overcoming barriers imposed by climate change and ensuring food security and healthiness of products offered to the market.

The investigations of the Plasticulture Research Center should consider as a central point the relationship with the producer. Projects of scientific and technological cooperation will be selected for plastic solutions in polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and/or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which propose research of three types: development of disruptive solutions for large performance leaps; modification of solutions in plastics to existing problems, and validation of solutions – in which a solution already existent in the market is tested in crops in which it is not yet used.

The solutions developed based on the three themes should consider Brazil as a scenario. They should also take into account their application in one or more of the following six areas of rural activity: forestry; organic production; protected cultivation; aquaculture; reduction of food losses; and promoting productivity of agricultural products.

The transfer of technology to Braskem (which will hold 50% of the intellectual property generated) and to society is one of the main goals that guide the new center. Examples of achievements related to this objective are the interaction with the educational system (mainly at the primary and secondary levels), the realization of research projects in partnership with agencies (governmental or non-governmental) responsible for public policies, and the creation of small and medium-sized enterprises that incorporate results of the research developed there.

The Plasticulture Research Center should be hosted by an institution in the state of São Paulo, which will support and designate the researcher responsible for the project, who will be in charge of the scientific and administrative coordination of the project.

The call provides that Braskem will point out the deputy director of the new CPE, which will be present at the center ensuring its scientific and operational contribution. Braskem scientists and engineers can also be part of the Center to collaborate on specific projects.

FAPESP and Braskem hope to select up to one proposal, which will last for two years and can be extended up to 5 years. The parties will each reserve up to R$ 800,000 annually to implement the program. The existence of other sources of funding besides FAPESP, Braskem and the home institution is not only allowed but also adds value to the proposal – provided that the contribution is aligned with the mission of the Center and is approved by the joint management committee FAPESP-Braskem.

The proposals should also provide for the establishment of an international advisory board, to include at least two prominent foreign scientists in their fields. The council will aim to instruct the team on new research opportunities and new directions, aiming at increasing international competitiveness. The deadline for submitting proposals to FAPESP (through the SAGe platform) ends on May 24, 2021. FAPESP will hold an online event on April 14 to publicize the call and clarify doubts.

The call (in Portuguese) is available at: https://fapesp.br/cpe/chamada_de_propostas_braskem-FAPESP_-_centro_de_pesquisa_de_plasticultura/24-e.


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