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Cablegate: Productive U.S.-Brazil Science and Technology Dialogue,

VZCZCXRO5130
RR RUEHAST RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHTM
DE RUEHBR #1603/01 3471728
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 121728Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3098
INFO RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 3200
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 6985
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 8803
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BRASILIA 001603

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR OES/ENRC, OES/STC, WHA/EPSC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID KSCA SENV ECON ETRD EINV BR
SUBJECT: PRODUCTIVE U.S.-BRAZIL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DIALOGUE,
BRASILIA, OCTOBER 30-31.

REF: A) BRASILIA 1406, B) BRASILIA 1523

BRASILIA 00001603 001.2 OF 003


1. (U) THIS CABLE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED AND NOT FOR
INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY. On October 30-31, representatives of the USG
scientific and technological community met with Brazilian
counterparts in Brasilia. The Brasilia meeting was generally viewed
as very productive where both delegations were able to identify
areas of potential cooperation between the United States and Brazil.
The two delegations discussed a wide range of topics, including
earth sciences, remote sensing, agricultural research, basic
science, and science policies. Also, the two sides discussed
innovation as an emerging area of cooperation that shows great
potential. The dialogue helps prepare the way for a high-level
U.S.-Brazil Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology
(JCM), which they agreed should take place in Washington in the
first half of 2009. The two delegations agreed, among other things,
to include a recommendation to the JCM in 2009 to create working
groups on innovation, nanotechnology, and science education. END
SUMMARY.

-----------
THE MEETING
-----------

3. (SBU) The Preparatory Meeting for the Second Brazil-United
States Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology was held
at the Ministry of External Relations (MRE) in Brasilia on October
30-31, 2008. USG agencies that participated in the meeting included
the State Department, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science
Foundation, the U.S. Agriculture Research Service, the U.S. Army's
Science and Technology Office, and the U.S. Southern Command. The
60-plus Brazilian delegation included representatives from the
Ministry of External Relations, the Ministry of Science and
Technology, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Defense, the
Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry
of Mines and Energy, the Ministry of Development, Industry and
External Commerce, the National Technology Institute (INT), the
Brazilian Mineral Resources Company (CPRM), the National Meteorology
Institute (INMET), the National Council for Scientific and
Technological Cooperation (CNPq), the National Institute on Space
Research (INPE), the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development
(ABDI), the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), the Brazilian Agricultural
Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), the Aerospace Technical Center
(CTA), IBAMA (the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and
Natural Resources) and universities.

4. (SBU) The meeting began with a plenary session, which featured a
formal welcoming by Minister Hadil Vianna, the MRE's Director of
Science and Technology, and Lisa Kubiske, the Deputy Chief of
Mission at U.S. Embassy Brasilia. Vianna stressed that Brazil is no
longer a passive recipient of scientific and technological aid.
Rather, he stressed, Brazil is now able to participate as an equal
partner in scientific endeavors, contributing its own financial and
human resources to these partnerships. Kubiske emphasized the
strength of existing cooperation and the importance that the current
administration places on cooperative science and technology
endeavors. She also noted that President-elect Obama cited this as
an area of great importance.

5. (SBU) The plenary also included updates about the recent meeting
of the Working Group on Public Health, which had been held earlier
in Washington on October 6-7, 2008, and a brief presentation about
the state of cooperation between Brazil and the U.S. in the energy
sector.

6. (SBU) Following the plenary session, the delegates split into
six subgroups to discuss the following areas: policies on science,
technology and innovation; biodiversity, climate and disaster
detection; earth and water sciences; remote sensing; space;
aeronautics; agricultural research; capacity building; promoting
science education; coordination of financing of basic science
involving U.S. and Brazilian scientists; and research on and
monitoring of infectious and vector-transmitted diseases, as well as
possible ways to engage in biological safety and security
cooperation. The reports generated by each group will be presented
in the annex of the meeting summary signed by the heads of the two
delegations.

7. (SBU) At the end of the meeting, the two delegations held a
closing plenary session to review each subgroup's report. During
this session the heads of the two delegations signed a statement
about the progress made during the meeting. The joint statement

BRASILIA 00001603 002.2 OF 003


also suggested the creation of three new working groups under the
Joint Commission framework. These groups would focus on Innovation;
Nanotechnology; and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
(STEM) Education and Public Awareness of Science.

------------
HIGHLIGHTS
------------

8. (SBU) Highlights include an expansion of the scope and depth of
cooperation between the U.S. Agricultural Research Service and
EMBRAPA; the Brazilian Air Force's expression of desire to work with
the United States in the area of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs),
and their continued commitment to space cooperation; the beginning
of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiations between the USGS
and a Brazilian university (UNIOESTE); and identification of new
areas of potential cooperation between NOAA and its Brazilian
counterparts. Participants also cited specific progress being made
in the area of remote earth sensing and mineral resource
assessments.

9. (SBU) An unexpected positive outcome of the meeting was a
desired expressed by the Ministry of Science and Technology to
create a formal cooperation agreement with the U.S. Department of
Defense. A Ministry of Science and Technology representative
discussed this on the margins of the meeting with Science Counselor.
Post will work with the Ministry and the Department of Defense to
facilitate communications between them and to help them in defining
and shaping this relationship.

------------
INNOVATION
------------

10. (SBU) Both delegations supported the creation of a working
group on innovation because they felt that innovation should be
dealt with under the umbrella of the U.S.-Brazil JCM. This
sentiment was seconded by the Economic Partnership Dialog (EPD),
which met on the same day (see REFTEL B for more information on the
EPD.) The heads of both the U.S. and the Brazilian delegations to
the JCM joined the EPD delegations for a lunchtime discussion on
innovation. The keynote speech during this lunch was given by the
U.S. delegation leader, Bruce Howard, State Department's Director of
the Office of Science and Technology Cooperation. All present felt
that innovation would play a key role in the future of both
U.S.-Brazil technical and economic cooperation and that it should be
addressed under the umbrella of science and technology cooperation.

----------
CHALLENGES
----------

11. (SBU) While most groups were able to identify several areas in
which they would like to increase scientific and technological
cooperation, there were some areas in which the delegations were not
able to come to agreement. The U.S. delegates to the Biological
Sciences subgroup were met with considerable resistance to their
offer of funding and partnerships to support capacity building
projects related to research and monitoring of tropical and
infectious diseases. The Brazilian delegation, particularly the
Ministry of Health, felt that this would better be characterized as
a discussion on biosafety and biosecurity, which should involve a
wider array of Brazilian agencies. Despite this resistance, the
Ministry of Health and Defense eventually expressed an interest in
receiving more information and informed the U.S. delegates that the
Brazilians would be convening an inter-ministerial group to discuss
these issues.

12. (SBU) Post will continue to work with its contacts to find
potential partners for the USG in these endeavors. Post will also
try to gather more information on this new inter-ministerial working
group. We expect to continue the conversation with the Brazilians
on the possibility of cooperation in the areas of biosafety and
biosecurity, which could lead to inclusion at the ministerial-level
JCM in spring 2009.

13. (SBU) The Earth Sciences group also encountered some areas of
disagreement. A representative from the Brazilian Geological Survey
(CPRM) pressed the USGS representative on several occasions to
expand the nature of on-going cooperative programs to include a
couple of specific areas of interest to the Brazilian agency. While
USGS may be willing to include one of these new areas, there were a
couple of others that the agency is not prepared to deal with at
this time.


BRASILIA 00001603 003.2 OF 003


----------------------------
UNREPRESENTED WORKING GROUPS
----------------------------

14. (SBU) Several USG agencies that are involved in science and
technology cooperation were not able to attend this preparatory
meeting. These agencies include, among others, the Department of
Health and Human Services and its agencies, the National Aeronautic
and Space Administration, and the Energy Department and its
agencies. As a result of their absence, several topics such as
bioinformatics, measurement standards and technology, information
and computer technology, energy, nanotechnology and public health
were not discussed at this meeting. However, the Working Group on
Public Health had met earlier in October and the agenda and minutes
from this meeting were discussed during the plenary session. Post
will work with the appropriate USG and Brazilian agencies to
facilitate video conferences or meetings on the margins of other
international gatherings as a way of helping interested agencies to
discuss the outstanding topics and complete their preparatory work
before the ministerial-level JCM in Spring of 2009.

-------
COMMENT
-------

15. (SBU) COMMENT. This science and technology meeting was a
productive tool to signal USG interest in continued scientific and
technological cooperation with Brazil. The Brazilians have been
actively participating in similar meetings with European and other
governments, demonstrating their keen interest in expanding
scientific and technological efforts on the international stage.
Post feels that it is critical for the USG to continue to show our
interest in working with Brazil as an influential South American
country, because the USG benefits greatly from the outcomes of this
type of cooperation. Additionally, this cooperation is yet another
way that the USG can deepen its relationship with Brazil and
underscore its commitment to working with this critical partner in
the region. END COMMENT.

SOBEL

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