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BRAGFOST2014 (Brazil-Germany Symposium of Frontiers of Science and Technology CAPES-Humboldt Foundations)

Description and Summary of BRAGFOST2014

  • Brazil-Germany Frontiers of Science and Technology Symposium (BRAGFOST) are series of interdisciplinary binational conferences which are co-organized by the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (part of Frontiers of Research Symposia form Humboldt Foundation);
  • BRAGFOSTs bring together approximately 60 outstanding young engineers and natural scientists from a wide range of disciplines (30 each from Germany and Brazil). The conference format allows for the exchange of ideas across disciplinary as well as national boundaries and, at the same time, provides opportunities for future binational collaborations and networking;
  • BRAGFOST, hosted by University of Pernambuco, in its 5th edition this year of 2014, had over 60 participants of around 50 different research centers and universities from Brazil and Germany. The level of scientific discussions, interaction among participants and cultural activities were deemed to be well above average;
  • The four main topics for discussion this year were spread on eight slots of 90 minutes delving on: Cheap Energy, Smart Cities, Assistive Robotics and Complex Optimization. The long coffee-breaks and poster sessions were specially designed to foster discussions. The initial accounts, at the end of the Symposium point out that around twenty partnerships and mutual one-month visits will occur, in the near future;
  • An additional, a selection of talks were devised to inform the participants on scientific landscape of Germany, Brazil and Pernambuco. Also, funding made available by CAPES and Humboldt Foundations were explained to all;
  • Humboldt and CAPES foundations agreed that this year meeting was to be hold in Recife. This made it possible the organization of two co-located workshops with local academics and state authorities;
  • Along-side BRAGFOST2014, a workshop in the Federal University of Pernambuco, in Advanced Chemistry (in the Morning of 25th, Thursday), around the expertise of Prof. Helmut Schwarz – President of Humboldt Foundation, was organized. The participants were unanimous regarding the high level of the scientific discussions;
  • As a post-conference, on Monday 29th , a whole day Workshop delving on Metal-Mechanics, around the expertise of Prof. Bernd Markert – RTWH Aachen was organized. There, we managed to have around 50 people from local industrial cluster of SUAPE, three local universities and two state secretaries representatives. As a result, it is likely that a binational effort will be made to propose the creation of scientific cluster for SUAPE;
  • BRAGFOST2014 had also a busy social and cultural agenda that helped to establish friendship on top of the professional links established in Recife. Highlights were: welcome cocktail (sponsored by German General-Consulate in Recife), welcome dinner, folklore presentation, cultural visits to Olinda and Francisco Brennand Atelier, and farewell dinner in Porto de Galinhas;
  • Overall, BRAGFOST2014 was deemed as a great success both in science and technology, as well as in establishing future collaboration networks between Brazil and Germany. The motto for the event, as then validated for all: “Let Academia and Universities be the main structure of transatlantic bridges” by Prof. Dr. Fernando Buarque.