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SFU engages Brazil's Science Without Borders

April 30, 2012

My participation in the Canadian University Presidents’ mission to Brazil continues today with a visit to Petrobras Research Centre in Rio de Janeiro before heading to Brasilia tomorrow.
 
The mission, led by Governor General David Johnston, has been busy and productive.  Last Thursday, I attended the opening of the Conference of the Americas on International Education and participated in roundtable discussions with representatives of major Brazilian universities. 

On Friday, we travelled to Sao Paulo to join in a Canada-Brazil Innovation Forum, visit the impressive Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), and attend a reception in honour of Brazilian students who will be travelling to Canada under Brazil’s Science Without Borders scholarship program. 

And on Saturday we visited the highly ranked University of Campinas (Unicamp) where we engaged in a forum on innovation and toured the nearby Synchrotron Light Laboratory.

From an SFU perspective, highlights of the trip so far have included the signing of two memoranda of understanding: one with FAPESP which will provide seed money to support research partnerships between SFU and Sao Paulo researchers, and a second with Unicamp to facilitate research collaborations and student exchanges between our two institutions. 

I was also encouraged by Brazil's commitment to make 12,000 of the 100,000 Science Without Borders scholarships available to Brazilian students coming to Canada. I hope a significant number of these can be attracted to SFU, at both the graduate and undergraduate level.
 
Overall, the trip has provided valuable opportunities to build and extend relationships with a range of Brazilian universities, organizations and individuals. 

I'm particularly pleased to report that SFU is well known and regarded by many in Brazil, and that there is huge interest in pursuing a variety of partnership initiatives around education, research and community development.

It appears that not only is SFU ready to “engage the world” but, judging by the reception I've received in Brazil, the world is ready to reciprocate!

Signing the MOU at UnicampSigning the MOU at Unicamp
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