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Cablegate: Brazil: Embassy Brasilia's Suggested Themes for Upcoming

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R 041016Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5004
INFO RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 4491
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 8147
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 9886
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 001105

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TAGS: SENV KSCA BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: EMBASSY BRASILIA'S SUGGESTED THEMES FOR UPCOMING
JOINT COMMISSION ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

BRASILIA 00001105 001.2 OF 002


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

1. (SBU) In preparation for the November ministerial-level Joint
Commission Meeting on Science and Technology (JCM) Embassy Brasilia
has identified three potential areas that could be used to advance
U.S. Government (USG) priority interests building on the robust and
on-going science and technology cooperation between the United
States and Brazil. These three areas are: food security; climate
change; and innovation.

AGRICULTURAL AND BIOTECHNOLOGY IN FOOD SECURITY

2. (SBU) Food security has become an increasingly important topic
in conversations between the Embassy and the Government of Brazil
(GOB). Under the bilateral Economic Partnership Dialogue (EPD),
Embassy Brasilia has finalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
that would institutionalize this trilateral cooperation in Africa
and Haiti, using Mozambique as the first recipient country in a
joint designed food security project. Researchers from the
Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) have a
long-standing, strong research relationship with the U.S.
Agricultural Research Service.

3. (SBU) Separately from this EPD initiative, there may be scope
within the scientific dialogue to launch a conversation on
agricultural biotechnology, in terms of the potential for scientific
cooperation and perhaps eventual joint work to the benefit of third
countries, including in Africa. Both countries have made
significant investments in biotechnology. Agricultural
biotechnology has been a sensitive topic within the GOB, with a
range of views within ministries. A conversation among those
focused on biotechnology would be a helpful and productive way to
re-engage on this topic, following up on a possible visit by the
Secretary's Science and Technology Advisory Dr. Nina Federoff in
late October.

CLIMATE RELATED SCIENCE

4. (SBU) Both the United States and Brazil have stated that
mitigating climate change is in their national interests and that
the two countries should find ways to strengthen their cooperation
in this important endeavor. Science and technology cooperation is
one way that both countries can contribute to a solution to this
global challenge. By creating a working group or through some
series of specific projects on green technology, clean energy,
energy efficiency efforts, remote monitoring, and/or the study of
the carbon cycle in tropical forests that would enhance our
understanding of climatic changes the JCM could promote increased
cooperation in these areas. Also, progress in this area might help
facilitate greater cooperation in the broader discussion of climate
mitigation.

INNOVATION

5. (SBU) GOB officials continue to state that innovation is one of
their highest priorities and the Ministry of External Relations
(MRE) has stated that this theme must figure prominently in the JCM.
Specifically, the MRE would like to see a concrete project or plan
laid out through which the United States and Brazil can pursue their
mutual interests in innovation. One idea is to build on the
National Science Foundation's Small Business Innovative Research
(SBIR) programs by facilitating a joint effort between NSF, the
Brazilian Innovation Agency (FINEP), and the National Council on
Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq). The idea would be
to build on the research that has been done on the science of
innovation and attempt to implement ideas derived from this work.

6. (SBU) Continuing our bilateral discussions on innovation also
provides the USG with an excellent opportunity to highlight the
importance of intellectual property rights (IPR) as a pillar of
innovation. While some GOB officials acknowledge the importance of
IPR to innovation, the GOB writ large does not consistently draw a
link between IPR and the development and commercialization of new
technology and invention. The MRE's consideration of
cross-retaliation on IPR (in Brazil's World Trade Organization case
against the United States regarding cotton) could be perceived as a
lack of commitment to the long-term value of IPR to attracting and
promoting innovation as a key element of economic growth.
Highlighting innovation within the JCM would give the USG another
fora in which to elaborate the critical connection between IPR and
innovation.

7. (SBU) Embassy Brasilia has had some preliminary discussions with
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Science and

BRASILIA 00001105 002.2 OF 002


Technology (MCT) involving potential focus areas for the JCM. These
discussions will continue as we seek to find common ground and
solidify the planning for the upcoming event. Naturally the Embassy
would appreciate input and insights from the State Department and
interested U.S. agencies in this process.

KUBISKE

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