Brazil is a natural player for Canada. The two countries have a formal agreement in Science and Technology Cooperation. They have large resource-based economies and shared economic priorities in clean technology, health, ICT, nanotechnology and ocean research.

The Canada-Brazil Collaborative Research Initiative

Executive Director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Dr Arthur Carty has been instrumental in the Canada-Brazil Collaborative Research initiative, leading a science and technology delegation to São Paulo and Brasília in 2007, under a proposed Canada-Brazil S&T agreement.  One year later, Dr Carty delivered a draft version of the Canada-Brazil Framework Agreement to the Brazilian government, which came into effect in 2010.  A Joint Committee for Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation (JCCSTI) currently oversees five strategic theme areas of common interest and priority: ocean technology; clean technology and green energy; information and communications technology; life sciences; and nanotechnology.  Nanotechnology, initially considered an overarching, cross-disciplinary theme, has recently been designated as a pillar of the action plan. 

Workshops and Partnership-Building Activities

The first Canada-Brazil Nanotechnology Workshop was held in São Paulo, Brazil in December 2012. Scientific presentations and bilateral discussions identified opportunities and willingness between participants to cooperate in nanotechnology research and industry collaboration.  Over 20 researchers, government and industry representatives attended this workshop from both countries, including Alain Francq, Michael Tam, and Leonardo Simon (WIN) and Richard Berry (CelluForce).

In June 2013, Brazilian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Marco Antonio Raupp made a special visit to Waterloo to see the Quantum-Nano Centre, hear about the research activities and programs of WIN and gain perspective on the renowned ecosystem for innovation and commercialisation of technology in the Waterloo Region.  The Minister was highly impressed by his visit and conveyed to his officials the necessity of establishing a collaborative relationship in Nanotechnology with WIN.  Dr Carty was invited by the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) to visit the National Centre for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM).  The agreement for collaboration in nanotechnology was signed in August 2013.

The second Canada-Brazil Workshop in September 2013 was hosted by WIN and provided an opportunity for leading Canadian and Brazilian researchers to participate in technical discussions on topics of specific focus: energy; sustainable nanomaterials; sensors and devices; computational materials science; and nanobiomaterials.  The event was well attended with over 50 researchers from Brazil and Canada, as well as representatives from industry and government from both countries.  The delegation also explored Waterloo’s commercialization ecosystem.  A subsequent invitation was given to WIN to participate in a Canada-Brazil Start-Up and 3.0 Web Conference in João Pessoa in December 2013 to explore pairing of Canadian and Brazilian accelerator centres and the Communitech Soft-Landing program.

The third Canada-Brazil Workshop was held in Belo Horizonte Brazil in May 2014, focusing on “Sustainable Nanomaterials:  Production and Applications of Nanocellulose”.  The emphasis of the workshop was to create common ground and a conducive environment for the joint development of products and processes from crystalline nanocellulose (CNC) and related materials.  Over 85 attendees were present at this workshop (70 Brazilians and 15 Canadians) with 15 Brazilian Companies (including Suzano, Braskem, PetroBras, Duratex, and GroupoBoticario) and four Canadian companies (Ecosynthetix, Celluforce, Woodbridge Foam, and Advanced Cellulosic Materials).  Government officials from MCTI and Brazilian funding agencies FAPESP, FAPEMIG, CNPq and Anprotec S&T Parks were present to offer program support for projects and industry collaborations.  The workshop was an excellent vehicle to bring Canadian and Brazilian researchers, companies and organizations together to forge inter-country partnerships to develop and commercialize new products and processes from CNC.  WIN Members in attendance: Mario Gauthier; Leonardo Simon; Michael Tam; Scott Taylor; Boxin Zhao accompanied by WIN Executive Director Arthur Carty and Managing Director Alain Francq.

Research Collaborations

Juewen Liu has collaborated with Maria Del Pilar Taboada Sotomayor, a professor at the Institute of Chemistry at the State University of Sao Paulo (UNESP) on non-thiolated DNA on gold surfaces.  A student of Professor Sotomayor visited UW for 18 months; the visit proved to be very successful, producing scientific articles published in high-impact factor journals.

Michael Tam has been collaborating with three research groups in Brazil in order to address key challenges in the emerging CNC industry: Professor Watson Loh, Director, Institute of Chemistry, Universidade de Campinas (UNICAMP); Professor Paulo Roberto Bueno, Institute of Chemistry, UNESP; and Professor Jorge Luiz Colodette, Departmento de Engenharia Florestal, Universidade Federale de Viçosa.

Leonardo Simon is currently working with Elisabethe Frollini from the Institute of Chemistry São Carlos from the University of São Paulo (USP), and Carlos Caesar Bof Buffon from the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory, National Centre for Research in Energy and Materials.  The objective of the collaborative efforts is to extend and develop the applications for crystalline nanocellulose (CNC), including the manufacturing and advanced engineering techniques for CNC-nanomaterial development.  CNC is being tailored to integrate thermoplastic systems for applications in electro-spinning and 3D printing.

Joint projects have just commenced, with significant results expected within the next year.

Notable Outcomes of the Canada-Brazil Relationship

Dr Fernando Galembeck (Former Director of CNPEM/LNNano) has been appointed to the International Scientific Advisory Board of WIN, a committee that meets yearly to discuss strategy, vision and objectives of the institute, and excellence and impact of research programs carried out by WIN.

Dr Arthur Carty was invited by the Brazilian Academy of Sciences as a keynote speaker at their symposium on “Excellence in Higher Education” in Rio de Janeiro in September 2014.  He also gave a special lecture to the Institute of Physics at the state University of Rio de Janeiro.  Shortly after, Dr Carty was invited to give the keynote speech entitled, “How Science and Technology are Helping to Deepen Canada-Brazil Collaboration” in Ottawa as part of the Deepening Canada-Brazil Research Collaboration Through Effective Partnerships Event in November 2014.  

Chronology of Events

Dr Feridum Hamdullahpur speaking at the podium

University of Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur opened the Second Canada-Brazil Workshop held in the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre, University of Waterloo, Canada in September 2013

Participants of the Brazil 3.0 Conference

Alain Francq participated in the Brazil-Canada 3.0 Conference in Brazil, December 2013 as an invited speaker

Panel of speakers

Third Canada-Brazil Workshop on Sustainable Nanomaterials held in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in May 2014