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Collaboration

Model in expansion

FAPs put together networks for researching dengue fever, developing biocosmetics and increasing safety in blood transfusions

REPRODUCTION BOND OF UNION, M.C.ESCHERThe link between state research foundations (FAPs) involving joint programs is growing. After launching the Malaria Network, which is going to bring together researchers from seven units in the federation to collaborate with studies into the disease and the agreements signed between FAPESP and the foundations of Minas Gerais (Fapemig) and Maranhão (Fapema), at least three new initiatives have begun to be developed, involving the development of biocosmetics in the Amazon, safety in blood transfusions and research into dengue fever. “There are topics of common interest that run through various states and the foundations have created the ‘muscle’ needed to celebrate this collaboration”, says Mario Neto Borges, president of the national Council of FAPs (Confap) and of Fapemig.

The most recent initiative was set in motion at the beginning of April when Confap took the first steps towards forming the Dengue Network, which is likely to involve FAPs from 15 states, among which is FAPESP. The initial proposal provides for the foundations to invest a total of R$ 10 million in research into the sickness. This amount should be matched by a further R$ 10 million from the federal government, of which R$ 5 million will come from the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and a further R$ 5 million from the Ministry of Health. The public bid notices, which will be discussed between partners, should be published this year. “The CNPq issued the challenge to create this network and the Foundation accepted it”, says Mario Neto Borges.

The public bid notice of the Amazon Biocosmetics Research and Development Network (RedeBio) will be published this month. Some R$ 6.8 million will be invested, divided between the FAPs of Amazonas, Pará and Maranhão States and the governments of Tocantins and Amapá, in the development of products derived from three raw materials that are found in the region: Brazil nuts, babaçu and andiroba. The research is likely to involve researchers from at least three states in the network. “The idea is to expand the network’s resources with private money. As soon as the projects have been defined we’re going to look for companies interested in investing in them”, says Odenildo Sena, CEO of the FAP of Amazonas (Fapeam).

The Brazilian Research Network into Blood Transfusion Safety, on the other hand, which is funded by seven state research protection foundations and by the Ministry of Health, is seeking to increase the safety of those using the  country’s blood banks. The foundations involved are from Minas Gerais (Fapemig), Pernambuco (Facepe), São Paulo (FAPESP), Rio de Janeiro (Faperj), Santa Catarina (Fapesc), Amazonas (Fapeam) and the Federal District (FAP-DF). The hemocenters from each state will be responsible for developing research that leads to improvements in the quality of blood, by means of technology that makes transfusions safer. According to the president of the Hemominas Foundation, Anna Bárbara Proietti, the Brazilian Transfusion Network Safety is going to function as a cooperative, with multicenter research projects. “We’re going to invest in different research fronts that are capable of increasing transfusion safety”, says Anna Bárbara, according to whom the efforts should involve everything from looking for safe methods for attracting donors to the development of serological markers. Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Pernambuco are one step ahead, because they already form part of the International Multicenter Study of Blood Donors (Reds), which is funded by the Blood Systems Research Institute of California, in the United States.

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