Brazil and EU unite project for the study of social and environmental challenges


Funded under the second call coordinated Brazil-EU, under the topic ‘Cloud computing for science’, the project EUBrazil Cloud Connect is carried out with the objective of accelerating scientific discoveries to the advancement of knowledge in social challenges.

The purpose of central EUBrazil Cloud Connect is boost cooperation between Europe and Brazil, strengthening the scientific society and knowledge as a key to sustainable social and economic development and equitable. The core of the collaboration is defined by means of selected cases, which will require the collaboration between Brazil and Europe in the delivery of data, services and knowledge.

The project has three main lines of action, organized by case studies. The first of them is the Virtual Lab on Leishmaniasis, which will enable a better understanding of the issue, by providing tools for collaborative research online for the molecular surveillance of the disease and its vectors. “We are planning that the lab is a environment extremely rich to develop not only the research, but also contribute to the development of public policies”, explains Francisco Brasileiro, coordinator of the project in the country and associate professor in the Department of Computer and Systems of the Universidade Federal of Campina Grande.

The second study is facing the integration between a model cardiac electromechanic and another of arterial blood flow, activity that must assist cardiologists and researchers in understanding the cardiovascular system that maintains the flow of blood in the body. “Concatenate these two simulators will allow, quite innovative, we will simulate the vascular system in whole. This is useful, for example, for a doctor who needs to assess how the behavior of a given patient”, explains Francisco.

Finally, the third study case seeks to understand issues on biodiversity and climate change. For this reason, various tools integrated within a scientific portal will collaborate with research institutions, companies and professionals both to understand how to reduce the effects of climate change.

Francisco explains that there are several expected results within the framework of the project. The main result will come from the development of applications generated with the three case studies of the project, which may, in turn, serve as a model for other applications. In addition, Francisco says that is being generated an integration technology of working together. “We are developing technologies that will enable the federation to computational infrastructures aimed to support the scientific activity, especially a particular type of infrastructure that is called cloud computing. Each one of the partners has a private cloud infrastructure, and the idea is that a person registered in any of these infrastructures can easily use this federated infrastructure”, details Francisco.

Building partnerships

Francisco Brasileiro has acted, for several years, on projects in the area of electronic infrastructures, some of them financed by the European Union. In this sense, he explains that the existent partnership between the institutions involved in the project is an essential component for the good performance of the activities performed.

The multidisciplinarity of the project is another positive factor for the growth of all partner institutions, according to Francisco. “We have supported us in the competence of our partners. We work much time in the assembly of the consortium to make sure that we were working with the people with whom we would be working together, and that the work would flow, with confidence in the work that these people would produce”, says Francisco.

The experience in the formation of consortia is facilitated, as details Francisco, when the scientific community and business form and strenghten networks of contacts and partnerships. “I usually speak with my collegues that partnership is not made with CNPJ [National Register of Legal Person]. Partnership is with CPF [Register of Persons]. Then you know the people and go to build a large network of contacts. As a result, when someone is building a given project it is possible to find out who are the people who will help you solve that problem, with which you will be working as well by past experiences”, adds.

To Francisco, the joint action between Brazil and European Union have been strenghtened over the years, but it points out that there is a need for more brazilian action: “What makes me feel a little uncomfortable is not to see the Brazil acting, defining its policy and being more proactive.”

Francisco adds that, the larger the project, the greater the impacts and the number of institutions involved. “Larger projects typically have a greater impact. And large projects need to be touched by more arms. Then you need to consortia to tap large projects. When the consortia are international, won the differences of culture and vision. We have learned from the Europeans, as well as Europeans also learn with the Brazilians. This is very interesting”, says.

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