Wednesday, June 23, 2010

July 23 - Tchau

Today I begin my travels home. I fly from Belo to Sao Paulo to NY to Boston. I will arrive in Boston tomorrow morning.

As excited a I was for my travels and my meetings, I am more so excited to return home to my family and to absorb all I have learned and experienced!

Thank you to everyone who has supported and helped me have this opportunity!

June 22 - Embrapa

My final meeting was with Fellow Antonio Purcino of Embrapa. Having already had an overview of the extensive reach of the work Embrapa is doing in Brazil and globally, we spent time talking about:
  • the global agenda of sustainability
  • importance of agribusiness research for Brazil as a society
  • the change of the role of a agribusiness research center to focus on many areas
  • the continued struggle of the small family farm to keep up technologically and economically
  • global demands for research and innovation

It was a wonderful way to wrap up my travels!

Not the best shows for a farm tour (especially the milking parlor) but no time to change today!
These eucalyptus are only 2.5 year old!

June 22 - EPAMIG - Experimental Station

In the afternoon, I visited with Maria and Octavia at the Experimental Station. They are working on many projects with breeding and genetics. However, the project I have continued to hear about during my travels is their work around restoring degraded lands. They have created a multi planting system to restore degraded pasture land. The process is to take the poor land, plant eucalyptus in set spacing, then in year one plant either corn or millet. The corn can be used in its state or for silage to feed the cattle. Eucalyptus grows very quickly and provides a shading for the plantings. In year 6, the trees can also be forested and they will grow back! When the corn is harvested or silaged, the area can be replanted will millet for small animal grazing. There is no tillage which allows for nutrient maintenance and reduced soil erosion. Tomorrow is their field day - when researchers from other countries will visit about implementing a similar system. The project is only a few years old but has had great success especially for small farmers who were loosing pasture lands for their animals.


Gislaine, me, Josiano by the Inovatec posting (

June 22 - Secretary of State, Science, Technology and Higher Education

I met with a group of researchers and leaders from the Secretary of State of Science, Technology and Higher Education of Minas Gerais. They presented information on the active role the institute and government is taking on innovation, technology and partnerships in Minas. They have a strong number of highly educated and skilled people and have been trying to connect their capacities with the business market.

SECTE has established international partnerships and agreements with Italy with energy and automotive, Germany with nanotechnology, France with environmental management, sustainable materials, dairy production, Portugal with recovery of degraded land, Australia with mining, water management, sustainability management and Chile with mining. This year they will host their annual innovation research event - Inovatec - which brings together innovation companies, R&D professionals, Universities, government, investors, venture capitalists and business to form business relationships. The theme of the 2010 Conference is Clean Energy and the World Cup 2014 (there are many business opportunities for companies in work to prepare and host the World Cup). The 2010 partnering country is the US. Visit ...they are excited for the opportunities and, if you know anyone interested, please let me know. I can get you in touch with Cynthia.

In speaking with the group, they shared with me information about four of the "poles" (centers) of excellence around coffee, dairy, cattle genetics and biotechnology. The other "poles" of excellence are: biofuels, biotechonology, environment/forestry, milk/dairy, mineral/metallurgy, electronics, telecom, hydric resources, software. They are doing extensive research to implement new technologies, research, opportunities, trainings for improve production and market opportunities.

Also attending our meetings was Fellow Josiano Gomes Chaves who through his work with the Government in the health care area works with SECTE. After our meeting, Josiano and I went to lunch to discuss our Fellowships and opportunities.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Marcos and two of his PhD students who are working on prosthetic hands through increased finger mobility and the use of prosthetic gloves. Of the 101 patents at Federal University of Minas Gerais, Marcos has 30!