International partnerships benefited 11 projects in 2017

Among the highlights of RNP in 2017 is the selection of 11 projects for the two cooperation programs with international partners. The most traditional one is the Brazil-European Union Cooperation Program on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), which is part of the Brazil-European Union Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, signed in 2004. In its fourth edition, launched in 2017, six projects were selected. The other partnership is between RNP and the United States National Science Foundation (NSF), whose edict included the choice of five initiatives related to the theme of 'Cybersecurity'.

"The new projects will give even greater proportions to international cooperation in R&D in Brazil. The five projects of the 3rd program alone funded 258 Brazilian researchers. With the 11 new projects, we estimate to involve over 600 Brazilian researchers with grants. Not to mention the impact on the productive sector, since we will now have 37 participations of private companies of different sizes and areas of activity. It is noteworthy that these projects were only possible through the resources of the IT Law, which has been reformulated. For this reason, we look forward to the next announcements of the federal government”, analysed RNP’s Project coordinator and responsible for the program, Wanderson Paim (image 2).

In recent years, Brazil and the European Union have been strengthening bonds of cooperation in science and technology through cooperation programs for advanced ICT research and development projects. So far, four programs have been launched (2010, 2012, 2015 and 2017), which received 192 working proposals. Of this total, 20 projects were selected.

The purpose of these programs is to promote solutions in strategic ICT areas, through agreements between Brazilian and European scientific and technological institutions and companies. The selected projects are managed jointly by the European Commission and RNP, with the support and supervision of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC).

The cooperation programs are part of Horizon2020, which is considered to be the largest research and innovation program in the European Union (EU). According to the Project Officer at the European Commission, in charge of the Cooperation Programs with Brazil, Jorge Pereira (image 3), the EC is interested in maintaining these partnerships with Brazil. "The cooperation programs with Brazil are planned and what remains to be decided is the potential new areas for cooperation. Therefore, there is a continuous and growing interest in the cooperation with Brazil, precisely because the results obtained are extremely interesting", he said.

When asked about the importance of having Brazil as a cooperation partner, Pereira said that both sides need to solve similar issues and that the country's diversity opens up an opportunity to think of solutions in different contexts - Brazil and EU - but which are complementary. "The reason for this cooperation is precisely this added value, which is for Brazil to have access to the European market, which is relatively large, and for Europe to have access to the Brazilian market and, from Brazil, to have access to the other Latin American countries", he said.

The director of Digital ecosystems of the Secretariat of Information Technology (Sepin) of MCTIC, Otavio Caixeta (image 4), closely follows this partnership and claims to have good expectations about the continuity of actions. "The expectations for the program results are great and come in two levels: the first is to have more qualified researchers working with the most sophisticated in technological development and international science. In addition, this collaboration between different realities is what creates the possibility of innovation. At another level, we expect concrete results as we have fantastic ideas that can be used in improvements for public policies and for society. And these projects are only possible through this partnership", said Caixeta.

Brazil and the United States working towards cybersecurity

The concern with cybersecurity has become a factor of approximation between Brazil and the United States. Thus, in 2017, the projects of the first RNP-NSF Cooperation Program for Cybersecurity Research and Development Projects were selected. The purpose of the program is to strengthen the collaboration between Brazilian and American scientific and technological institutions and companies on this matter, opening space for the exchange of researchers between institutions, the exchange of private data and information of each area of action of the partners, creation of teams with complementary qualities and capabilities, as well as the advancement of scientific production.

The themes Security and Privacy in Networks; Internet of Things, Cyber-Human and Cyber-Physical Systems; and Malware Detection were prioritized after discussions involving Brazilian and American researchers specialized in the field. The need to work on them is related to the increase of threats in an increasingly connected world, in which the incidence of themes such as cybersecurity, cryptography, cyber-defence and cybercrime is frequent.

"The selected projects involve very experienced research teams, both Brazilian and American. They propose solutions for residential environments, such as improving security and privacy levels on smart devices such as TVs and cable TV receivers, and improving authentication systems using biometric data. We hope that the relationship between the researchers and the scientific results generated will serve as an incentive to launch new opportunities", concluded Wanderson Paim.

Learn more about the projects selected by cooperation programs

4th Brazil-European Union Cooperation Program on ICT

RNP-NSF Cooperation Program for Cybersecurity Research and Development Projects