Around 100 medical researchers dialled in from Australia and Brazil for the virtual launch of FAMOUS, the FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation) – Monash University Collaboration Seed Program. This exciting new initiative will support new collaborations in the health sciences between research groups in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, and Monash University, emphasising online activities considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic international travel.
The FAMOUS program will help fund up to 10 collaborative projects to foster or strengthen the scientific relationship between research groups and generate preliminary results that can support the development of longer-term projects.
“The bonds between Australian and Brazilian researchers have become quite strong in recent years,” commented Silvio Tiziani, ARMI’s Director of External Strategy and Planning. “At ARMI, we established the ABC Network a few years ago, consisting of leading regenerative medicine and developmental biology researchers from Australia, Brazil and Chile. It is exciting to see this relationship deepen in the form of the FAMOUS program.”
The virtual launch opened with welcome remarks from Marco Antonia Zago (President of FAPESP), Michael Ryan (Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Research, Monash University) and Eugênio Mello (Scientific Director, FAPESP), showing the strong support for this program from both organisations.
This was followed by presentations from several scientists, including ARMI group leader Associate Professor Mirana Ramialison and a major driver of the ABC Network, speaking about their experiences of São Paulo – Monash University collaborations, touching on the challenges, the triumphs and the lessons learnt. Finally, a Q&A session allowed scientists interested in the FAMOUS program to ask questions about the program’s specifics, including the application process, funding duration and amount, and eligibility.
The launch closed with a few words from ARMI Director of Research Professor Peter Currie. He reminded all that ARMI has been engaging and collaborating strongly with Brazilian researchers for several years and was pleased to see this project take the level of interaction to a significant new level. He was also pleased that the ABC Network realised its potential for securing additional funding for researchers involved in the network and, although the FAMOUS program was restricted to São Paolo and Monash researchers, he hoped to use this program as a proof-of-concept project that can be adapted for other countries from within the growing ABC Network.
Silvio added, “International collaboration is critical in biomedical research and the health sciences. It’s a global endeavour with global impacts. Not only that, but cross-country and cross-cultural partnerships bring together different perspectives that can catalyse creativity, innovation, and new ways of thinking, which can drive progress towards improving the lives of patients.”
Applications for the FAMOUS program are now open and close on March 31, 2022. For more information, click here.