DFG Secretary General Dorothee Dzwonnek and the Head of the Department of Scientific Affairs, Annette Schmidtmann, visit Brazil and Argentina

(L to R) Dietrich Halm, Dorothee Dzwonnek and Arlindo Philippi Junior meet with CAPES in Brasilia.

(12.06.15) Between 24 and 28 May 2015, DFG Secretary General Dorothee Dzwonnek and the head of the DFG's Department of Scientific Affairs, Dr. Annette Schmidtmann, paid a visit to Brazil and Argentina. The main purpose of the trip to Brazil was to hold meetings with federal research funding organisations CAPES and CNPq in Brasília and the research funding organisation of the state of São Paulo, FAPESP. In Buenos Aires the two German visitors met with Argentinian research funding organisation CONICET and the Argentinian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MINCYT). The first German-Argentinian Research Training Group was also formally inaugurated at a launch event. The DFG has been involved in cooperation agreements with all these organisations for a number of years – in some cases decades – promoting joint research projects, workshops and visits.

In Brasília, the first item on the agenda was meetings with DFG partner organisations CAPES and CNPq. The topics under discussion included the further development of cooperation through the possible joint funding of International Research Training Groups. At a dinner held at the German embassy, the visitors were also able to talk to members of the umbrella association of the federal state funding organisations CONFAP.

In São Paulo, another very positive meeting was held with FAPESP on the expansion and development of cooperation in the area of coordinated processes. The meeting was followed by a reception at the residence of the German Consul-General for São Paulo, where members of the research community from the state of São Paulo gathered to bid farewell to Dr. Dietrich Halm, director of the DFG's Latin America office, and welcome his successor, Dr. Kathrin Winkler.

DFG delegation Top (L to R): Laura Redondo, Dorothee Dzwonnek, Annette Schmidtmann Bottom (L to R): Maxi Neidhardt, Cornelia Hueslz, Dietrich Halm, Kathrin Winkler

DFG delegation Top (L to R): Laura Redondo, Dorothee Dzwonnek, Annette Schmidtmann Bottom (L to R): Maxi Neidhardt, Cornelia Hueslz, Dietrich Halm, Kathrin Winkler

In Buenos Aires a ceremony was held to inaugurate the first German-Argentinian Research Training Group. The group, "Surface Processes, Tectonics and Georesources: The Andean foreland basin of Argentina (StRATEGy)", was inaugurated by Prof. Dr. Roberto Salvarezza, President of CONICET, and Dorothee Dzwonnek. The Argentinian spokesperson Prof. Dr. Monica López (Universidad de Buenos Aires) and the German spokesperson Prof. Dr. Manfred Strecker (University of Potsdam) introduced both the scientific topic and the training concept of the Research Training Group – with words of welcome by German ambassador Bernhard Graf von Waldersee and Prof. Helmut Elsenbeer, member of the Executive Committee of the University of Potsdam.

In meetings with Argentinian partner organisations MINCYT and CONICET, it was agreed to develop and expand the cooperation. The intention is to develop new topics, for example through preparatory workshops, which can generate joint project cooperations in the form of both individual grants and DFG coordinated programmes. There are also plans to increase cooperation between German and Argentinian researchers through calls for measures to promote collaborative research and topic-specific calls at project level.