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New Brazilian Bureau for Enhancing the International Cooperation with European Union

Periodic Report Summary - BB.BICE (New Brazilian bureau for enhancing the international cooperation with European Union)

Project 'New Brazilian bureau for enhancing the international cooperation with Europe' (BB.BICE) is mainly an extension and amplification of a successful initiative that was supported by the Sixth Framework Programme. Project BB.BICE initiated its activities on October 2005 with the aim of fostering and enhancing the cooperation in science, technology and innovation (ST&I) between Brazil and the European Union, principally through improving the participation of Brazilian research institutions, universities and technological based enterprises in the Seventh Framework Programme.

During its first period of implementation (from October 2008 to March 2010) project BB.BICE has achieved important realisations in accordance with its expected deliverables. As one of the main objectives of project BB.BICE is the divulgation and dissemination in Brazil of the actions and opportunities offered by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) concerning international cooperation, the project's communication area has developed several actions in order to fully achieve this major objective. The project's website was published in two addresses, namely http://bbice.ibict.br and www.bbice.unb.br. The reason for these two addresses was a decision taken between CDT/UnB and IBICT to host the website in the university's information infra-structure due to its flexibility and easy access.

Initially, just after the project was initiated, the work developed by BB.BICE's team was on the preparation of the requirements for the website. Later, the team moved its attention to the contents production, and the site's new layout. Currently, the website contains a set of updated news for the scientific, technological and entrepreneurial community, especially information related to FP7 calls, and other news about international cooperation, events, and meetings, among others.

Some highlights of the current site structure are:
- BB.BICE presentation and the activities developed by the project;
- Presentation of the Seventh Framework Program, with details concerning its sub-programs, calls, procedures, mechanisms for participation, and related documents;
- Service area, with guide participation and projects with Brazilian participation;
- Documents area;
- News, events and notes;
-Videos specially prepared by BB.BICE's team in scientific, technological and educational areas, with particular attention to the videos of the FP7 and calls;
- Map of competence - Institutional database designed to help the knowledge of Brazilian competence in science, technology and innovation in Europe;
- Publications;
- Clipping with press reports about BB.BICE and the FP7;
- Electronic newsletter;
- Searching for partnerships;
- Course about the FP7;
- Map of competence; and
- Business room.

The electronic newsletter is one important way to maintain the Brazilian and the foreign audiences connected to all the activities promoted by BB.BICE. Because it is a tool for online communication and its costs are reduced, it can process in depth information quickly. After the start of BB.BICE's activities, a monthly electronic newsletter was launched. The newsletter was first disseminated in Portuguese and later, with the consolidation of BB.BICE's activities, an English version was launched. The electronic newsletter mainly contains:
- Editorial in all editions written by BB.BICE's coordinator, highlighting relevant issues and positive facts. The editorial is important because strengthens the Project and the FP7 and brings credibility and respect to BB.BICE's activities.
- News and pictures about actions developed by BB.BICE with room for disseminating events and other texts, which are also available in the website;
- Articles concerning the performance of Brazil in the FP7 calls, and also on subjects related to international cooperation in science and technology.
- Special emphasis is given to the calls of the FP7.
- News (articles and short relevant news) and photos related to international cooperation with the European Union;
- Dissemination of experiences in international cooperation in science and technology and innovation;
- News related to the development of science and technology in Brazil.

Another action developed by the dissemination area of BB.BICE is the production of informational videos about the FP7. The purpose of the videos is to make FP7 better known by the Brazilian scientific and technological community, increasing awareness of the programme and the way it operates. Currently, BB.BICE is developing a special video about the FP7, which will contain a broad explanation of the FP7 operation, and exclusive interviews with representatives of Brazilian participants in projects approved by the programme and members of the European Commission delegation in Brazil.

Regarding the dissemination activities a final relevant aspect to mention is the development of two hot sites for two new products - the business room and the map of competence. The business room (see http://balcao.bbice.unb.br online) is a special hot site where Brazilian institutions can 'advertise' their specific interests for participation in the FP7 calls for proposals. The same strategy works for foreign institutions searching for Brazilian partnerships. Regarding the map of competence this hot site: http://mapa.bbice.unb.br allows the access to the institutional data base developed by BB.BICE which contains information of Brazilian research institutions, universities and technological based enterprises.

The area of studies has developed two main activities. First was the elaboration of analyses regarding the Brazilian performance in FP7. Three analyses were prepared taking into account the participation of Brazilian research institutions in the FP7 work programmes related to 2007, 2008 and 2009. Through these studies it is possible to verify the progress achieved by Brazil in its participation in the FP7, which reached the amount of 116 approved projects, and a performance of a success rate around 21 % in the applications to the FP7 calls for proposals.

Based on these studies and in a partnership with the delegation of the European Commission in Brazil, project BB.BICE published 500 issues of a booklet with information regarding the FP7 approved projects with the participation of Brazilian research institutions, information about the FP7 and the agreement in science and technology between Brazil and the European Commission. This study is also available on BB.BICE's web site.

The second activity developed by the study area is the elaboration of texts, in a book format, contents of which will also be in both English and Portuguese, and that will denote the national competency in research and development for each of the 10 themes and subthemes of the FP7. It will also present the main institutions and enterprises that develop these researches. With regard to the texts, those concerning Energy and KBBE are at their final stage and will soon be translated into English. With regard to the texts concerning ICT and Health, the elaboration of these studies are underway. It is the understanding of BB.BICE's team that these products will facilitate the development of partnerships between European and Brazilian research institutions and enterprises (as well as other regions and countries), contributing to a better cooperation in science, technology and innovation.

Another relevant activity included in Project BB.BICE is the presentation of speeches in order to inform the Brazilian scientific, technological and innovative community of the opportunities offered by FP7, and also the presentation of a one day course (available to be downloaded in BB.BICE's web site), which includes the following items:
- Presentation of the Seventh Framework Programme and project BB.BICE
- How to find the calls and understand Cordis site.
- Explanations about the NCPs and how to find partners.
- How to write a project
- Financial issues
- Programme People.

With the objective of bringing together Brazilians and Europeans institutions BB.BICE team is helping researchers to find partners for setting up project proposals. This activity is available both for Brazilian and European institutions or researchers. BB.BICE has been contacted by many researchers, who looked for information related to different calls, as for example the coordinated call for biofuels of second generation, KBBE calls, and others. The procedure adopted by BB.BICE in these requests is both to send the demands to specific mailing lists, and also to publish the demands on the project website. Many interested researcher contacted the searching institutions and started to plan and design a project together. As pointed out, this procedure applies both to the Brazilian and European sides.

One important activity developed by project BB.BICE is the map of competencies a database created for collecting, organising, and disseminating information regarding Brazilian research institutions and enterprises that work with research and technology development. The purpose of the map is to provide information regarding the areas of competence of the Brazilian research institutions and technological based enterprises in order to facilitate the search for partners from the European Union, as well as from other regions and countries in the setting up of research projects.The data base will allow an institution and/or a researcher from abroad to know about what Brazil is developing in research and development, as well as meet or contact those at institutional level who may be able to participate in FP7 projects.

In Brazil cooperation in science and technology often happens among those institutions which are already acquainted with the work of one another. It is often difficult to find out either what competencies Brazilian institutions cover or what institutions cover specific competencies, given the fact that there is a lack of a centralized database, as well as an updated one. The governmental and non-governmental organisations do not hold a set of institutional database which comprise the variety of themes of the FP7. The map of competencies thus comes as a means to facilitate cooperation not only with European institutions but also among Brazilian institutions.

To conclude, project BB.BICE is attending the majority of its objectives and tasks, and the results of its activities could be confirmed by the already mentioned performance Brazilian researchers and institutions are obtaining in applications to the FP7 calls for proposals.

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