Political guests and CNPq call

Brazilian Minister and ambassadors visit ATTO

The Brazilian Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Marcos Pontes, took ambassadors to see MCTI projects in the Amazon and announces about R$ 90 million investment in the region. It will be used to build 50 modern laboratories, improve the infrastructure of the ATTO tower and pay for research grants to study the Amazon rainforest.

Minister Marcos Pontes giving a speech at the base of the tall tower.
Minister Marcos Pontes (middle) with other visitors at the base of the tall tower. © Odjair Baena e Wesley Sousa - ASCOM/MCTI

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations, astronaut Marcos Pontes, secretaries of the ministry, members of parliament, ambassadors and diplomats visited on Friday (4) the ATTO Tower (acronym for Amazon Tall Tower Observatory) located in the Sustainable Development Reserve (RDS) Uatumã, in the state of Amazonas, in the municipality of São Sebastião do Uatumã, 150 km from Manaus.

The minister announced the launch of the CNPq/MCTI Call No. 01/2022, to support international research and development projects using the tower’s infrastructure. The Call has an overall value of R$ 927 thousand from MCTI with the aim of supporting up to six international research and development projects on the interactions between soil, climate and forest, enabling access to the observatory for Brazilian researchers and promoting greater cooperation with international partners, especially Germany and Norway. Each proposal may request up to R$200 thousand in research grants, including international researchers.

During the visit to the ATTO Tower Pontes revealed that calls will be launched with investments of R$80 million for the construction of 50 remote laboratories in the Amazon (SALAS), another R$8 million for the ATTO tower’s infrastructure, in addition to R$1.5 million for scholarships for international research at the tower.

“This was a very interesting trip. We had the opportunity to get to know all the work that is developed at the ATTO tower by our researchers from the National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA), a research unit of the MCTI. The investments in the Amazon region aim to provide scientific and bioeconomic development through digital transformation,” he said.

MCTI’s Secretary of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Paulo Alvim, spoke about the importance of valuing scientific research. “First, we will value this scientific research infrastructure in the environmental and sustainability areas, which is strategic for the country and for the world. We must also emphasize the partnership with the German government that since 2015 has enabled the realization of various research projects and the leadership of Minister Marcos Pontes has strengthened this partnership with various investments that are being made. An investment of R$8 million from FNDCT via FINEP/MCTI”, he highlighted.

The German ambassador to Brazil, Heiko Thoms, spoke about the important partnership with Brazil. “There is a partnership between the Max Planck Institutes in Germany and Brazilian institutions that has existed for more than 50 years, and this partnership in the Amazon is especially important. Research on climate change is important for the world”.

According to Pontes these kinds of actions contribute to give more transparency to the activities, especially to the preservation and development of sustainable development. “The MCTI has several projects in the region that aim at preservation, sustainable development, and quality of life for the local population,” he said.

Funding opportunities through CNPq call

The CNPq/MCTI Call No. 01/2022 will support international research and development projects using the infrastructure of ATTO. It aims to support up to six international research and development projects on the interactions between soil, climate and forest. It will give Brazilian researchers in cooperation with international partners access to ATTO and will thus stimulate international cooperation for research on the Amazon and strengthen the exchange of researchers and bilateral cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation. Preferred international partnerships should be with Germany and Norway.

The approved proposals will be financed with resources in the global amount of about R$ 927 thousand, coming from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI). Each proposal may request up to R$ 200 thousand in scholarships.

The deadline for submitting proposals is April 28.

The preliminary result should be released on July 21, 2022 and the final result in early August.