The Research Council of Norway has signed two agreements with Brazil’s national research and innovation organisations, opening up opportunities for joint funding announcements in research areas of common interest.
“This is a milestone for Norwegian-Brazilian research cooperation,” says Siri Helle Friedemann, Director of the Research Council of Norway’s Department for Petroleum Research. On behalf of the Research Council, she signed the agreement with the Brazilian Innovation Agency (FINEP) in early November. A similar agreement was signed with Brazil’s National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) earlier in the autumn. Innovation Norway has also entered into an agreement with FINEP.
“This has been a long process, but it always takes time to lay the foundation for international research cooperation,” adds Ms Friedemann. “Now the framework for joint funding announcements is in place, and the work of designing the calls for proposals can begin.”
The agreement with the Brazilian Innovation Agency (FINEP) was signed during a conferance that took place in Rio de Janeiro on 3-4 November.
First calls will target oil and gas
The agreements with FINEP and CNPq apply across all activities at the Research Council of Norway, but the first funding announcements will target the oil and gas sector. Brazil has substantial available research capital within this rapidly expanding sector. It is important for the Norwegian supplier industry to develop collaborative projects with the Brazilian petroleum sector.
“Norway and Brazil face many of the same problems in terms of exploration and development of petroleum resources,” says Ms Friedemann. Petroleum deposits on the Brazilian continental shelf lie in ultra-deep waters, i.e. deeper than two kilometres. Recovering oil and natural gas from such great depths poses a variety of obstacles that are similar to those on the Norwegian continental shelf, where waters are not as deep but are instead very cold. This leads to comparable challenges on the seabed.
Priority partner country
Brazil is one of Norway’s eight priority partner countries for bilateral research cooperation outside Europe, and is also included among the Research Council’s new roadmaps for bilateral cooperation. The purpose of these roadmaps is to strengthen activities vis-à-vis the eight priority countries and to promote more targeted cooperation.
The Large-scale Programme for Petroleum Research (PETROMAKS2) has previously issued two calls for proposals to promote increased cooperation with Brazil. “Those two calls had very fruitful results and have led to a great deal of pioneering research,” concludes Ms Friedemann.