Public Release: 

King's College London signs agreement to strengthen Brazilian research links

King's College London

King's College London has signed a unique agreement with the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), the State of São Paulo Research Foundation, Brazil. With this agreement King's has become FAPESP's first and only university partner in the UK.

The two institutions have agreed to encourage and support more scientific cooperation between King's and researchers working at institutions in the State of São Paulo. The cooperation agreement spans all areas of knowledge, covering Biological Sciences, Health Sciences, Exact Sciences and Earth Sciences, Engineering, Agrarian Sciences, Applied Social Sciences, Human Sciences, Linguistics and Literature & Arts.

It aims to encourage the development of joint research projects, which may include the exchange of researchers and post-graduate students. The two institutions will jointly select projects from proposals submitted by researchers from either King's or researchers in the State of São Paulo.

Keith Hoggart, Vice Principal (Arts & Sciences) and External Affairs, comments: 'I am delighted that FAPESP has chosen King's as a partner for international research projects. Brazil is a country of great importance to King's and we are excited to be the first university to sign such an agreement with FAPESP. I am sure today marks the beginning of a great collaboration that will foster strong research relationships and will lead to high-quality research output across all areas of knowledge.'

In its 47 years of operation, FAPESP has awarded more than 45 thousand scholarships and 35 thousand financial awards to research. In 2008 FAPESP invested £ 74 million in fellowships and £ 136 millions in research awards. The foundation supports research in all fields of knowledge and has also special programs in Bioenergy, Climate Change, Biodiversity, Neurosciences and Advanced Internet. The balance of these years of continuous investment clearly shows that the Foundation has made a decisive contribution to the expansion and strengthening of scientific and technological research in the State of São Paulo, with considerable impact on the economic, social and cultural development of the State and of Brazil.

Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, Scientific Director, FAPESP said: 'International collaboration is essential for the development of science in São Paulo, Brazil. In partnering with King's College London FAPESP opens a broad set of opportunities for scientific collaboration and, as has been the tradition for FAPESP, we expect proposals in all fields of science.'

The agreement adds to King's many links with research institutions and universities in São Paulo, such as the University of São Paulo, which is one of King's key international strategic partners. The College has recently launched the King's Brazil Institute, which is intended to promote research and teaching on Brazil, as well as being home to a Centre for the Study of Brazilian Culture and Society. The Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at King's is the only independent Portuguese department left in the UK. The Department is acknowledged as a 'world leader' in the fields of Portuguese, Brazilian and Lusophone-African studies. King's research links with Brazil are further distinguished by the naming of two new research centres after King's academics; namely, the Centro de Apoio à Pesquisa 'Robin Murray' at the Universidade de São Paulo and the John Ernsting Aerospace Physiology Laboratory at the Pontifícia Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) in Porte Alegre.

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Notes to editors

FAPESP

FAPESP is a public foundation, funded by the taxpayer in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, with the mission to support research projects in all fields of knowledge. São Paulo has a population of forty million and generates 35% of Brazil's GNP. The constitution of the State establishes that 1% of all state taxes belong to the foundation and the government transfers theses funds monthly. The stability of the funding and the autonomy of the foundation allow for an efficient management of the resources that has had a sizable impact: the state of São Paulo responds for 52% of the country's scientific articles published in international journals and forms more than 4,000 PhDs every year.

The foundation works in close contact with the scientific community and all proposals are peer reviewed with the help of area panels composed of active researchers. In 2008 the foundation announced broad research initiatives on Bioenergy and on Global Climate Change.

FAPESP expects to invest approximately £ 200 million in research projects in 2009. One third of this value goes into fellowships for graduate and undergraduate students. About 55% goes into exploratory academic research, mostly fundamental in nature and 10% is invested in application oriented research, in many cases performed in Small Businesses or in joint research performed by academia and industry.

King's College London

King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher Education 2008) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King's has more than 21,000 students from nearly 140 countries, and more than 5,700 employees. King's is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.

King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £450 million.

King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe; no university has more Medical Research Council Centres. For more information, visit: www.kcl.ac.uk.

King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org.

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