In line with the Program's aims of implementing and strengthening strategic research of common interest and identifying trends with potential benefits for agribusiness, Embrapa's Executive Board defines, based on internal consultations and debates, subject at the frontier of knowledge that must be initiated or strengthened in Labex's research agenda. Such theme is then developed by researchers during their time abroad and must be continued in the Country upon their return to Embrapa, with impact on the corporation's projects in the long run.
Strategic Intelligence 2016
Geraldo Bueno Martha Júnior
Labex-USA Program Coordinator (2015-2018)
Bioeconomic modeling to support agricultural research and policy
As Coordinator, in addition to the tripod (1) prospection of technological determinants and trend, (2) articulating and promoting engagement among Embrapa and US teams in support of the corporation's RD&I strategies, and (3) fostering scientific cooperation in research projects of common interest between groups of excellency in the two countries; he designed and implemented a fourth front, with a focus on strengthening links between science and policy.
As a researcher in the area of bioeconomic modeling, he has generated results that include: (a) the contribution from production factors (e.g. area and productivity) in production growth in selected agricultural activities in Brazil and the USA and their land saving effect; (b) the design and implementation of a pilot tool that allows access to the contribution of technological shocks and politicies on the costs of opportunity and competitiveness in Brazilian agriculture; and (c) the magnifying of the understanding of the limits of growth in Brazilian agriculture and potential impacts on the national economy and international trade through applied general balance models. Such actions entail wider foundations regarding the effect of science-based agriculture and of policies that support decision-making.
Preventive Genetic Improvement 2016
Márcio Elias Ferreira
Work in preventive genetic improvement to obtain plants that are resistant to quarantine organisms posing high risk to Brazilian agriculture. The work aimed at developing gene stocks for important plant species with genetic resistance to pathogens and pests that have not been introduced in Brazil and that have potential to cause serious economic damage to Brazilian agriculture. The experiments in Embrapa's Labex USA were focused on the study of the genetic interaction between the bean plants and Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola. The bacteria cause bean halo blight, a devastating disease in several countries of the world, luckily still absent in Brazil. Since the research deals with a high risk quarantine pathogen, the collaboration with an international research institution through the Labex Program is strategic and necessary. The work is developed in partnership with the Soybean Genomic Improvement Laboratory, USDA-ARS.
Animal Genetic Resources 2013
Samuel Rezende Paiva
Research, development and preservation of Genetic Resources (GR) have been some of Embrapa’s major efforts over the past 44 years. Along the same lines, the National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation (USDA-ARS-NLGRP) has achieved excellence in the preservation and security of genetic resources for use in food production and many other uses. ARS has been hosting Embrapa Labex research scientists since 2006 to work in the area of genetic resources. From 2013 to 2016 robust research cooperation with ARS and Land Grand Universities was promoted to improve existing technical and organizational issues at Embrapa’s Genetic Resources System. The main areas of interest that have been targeted with innumerous results were (A) information systems; (B) genetic characterization; (C) cryopreservation techniques and (D) germplasm exchange between US and Brazil.
Citrus Huanglongbing 2012
Eduardo Chumbinho de Andrade
Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) is the greatest threat to the survival of the citrus industry in Brazil and the United States. Given the importance of citrus agribusiness and the complexity of the disease, Embrapa and ARS have strategically sought to expand their research capacity on this topic through scientific cooperation, resulting on the establishment of the Labex-USA Citrus HLB. The research aimed at developing strategies to limit the spread of HLB through the control of its vector, the Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri. Psyllid genomic information was used to build a control method based on RNA interference (RNAi). The work also attempted to identify chemical and nanotechnology approaches to improve the delivery of dsRNA molecules to the plant and the insect. The scientific progress achieved in this scientific cooperation has resulted in the generation of biotechnological assets, a better understanding of the behavior and effects of dsRNA molecules in the plant and the environment, and the identification of a chemical compound that can increase foliar absorption of dsRNA molecules. The promotion of the expansion of research in Brazil for the use of RNAi for pest control was another important contribution of the LABEX-USA Citrus HLB.
Natural Resources R&D Management 2012~2014
Carlos Eduardo Lazarini da Fonseca
Coordinator of the Embrapa-Labex USA Program
During his term, in addition to Labex's main priority areas, other fronts like Natural Resources, Climate Change, Agroenergy and Aquaculture were prioritized for collaborative research. The following stand out: (i) Collaboration in water resources with the Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory in Beltsville in partnership with Embrapa Agrosilvopastoral, which enabled advances in the implementation of a physical base model to monitor drought and water use via geostationary satellites; (ii) In climate change, collaboration with GRACENet (Greenhouse gas Reduction through Agricultural Carbon Enhancement network) related to the adaptation of the CQESTR soil model, involving Embrapa Mid North and Embrapa Instrumentation; (iii) In agroenergy, research on pyrolysis-derived fuels with the Sustainable Biofuels & Co-Products Research Unit, ERRC Eastern Regional Research Center, use of Talens technology for precision genetic engineering with the Plant Gene Expression Center, use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for studies of plant cell wall composition with Western Regional Research Center, and biomass research for aviation biofuels with ARS and Boing; (iv) In aquaculture, collaborations in the area of breeding were set up and implemented with the National Cool and Coldwater Aquaculture Center aiming at improving low reproduction rates in intensive systems and, in animal health, for the development of attenuated fish vaccines.
Biotechnology – Heat tolerance 2011
Alexandre Lima Nepomuceno
In a first work proposal, the researcher Alexandre Nepomuceno's research group led studies alongside the ARS Plant Gene Expression Center (PGEC) in Albany, CA. The team was composed by two PhD students (Juliana Marcolino Gomes and Thiago Nakayama), two visiting scholars (Renata Fuganti Pagliarini and Fabiana Rodrigues) and three Embrapa researchers (Alexandre Nepomuceno, Hugo Molinari and Newton Carneiro). In partnership with Dr. Frank Harmon's group, they conducted research on soybeans and maize for 2 years that aimed at understanding how water deficit changes circadian control in plants and how such changes modify stress defense responses. Activities included the qPCR and RNAseq experiments in maize at PGEC with the same focus of the experiments with soybeans. In addition to the important results obtained and the strengthening of this partnership with the USDA/ARS while making joint action possible, nearly two dozen scientific papers in reputed journals, two book chapters and two technical notes were also published..
Parasitology - Animal Health 2011-2014
Magda Vieira Benavides
Sheep helminthiasis is the biggest health problem for small ruminants produced in tropical and subtropical regions. Institutions such as Embrapa, ARS, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO, Armidale, Australia), and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI, Nairobi), joined efforts to generate a new alternative for helminthiasis control. Using ILRI's experimental flock, techniques such as GWAS (Genome-Wide Association Studies), and a database of gene expression and sheep and bovine genome, they obtained a panel of genetic markers associated with traits of sheep resistance to infections by Haemonchus contortus, the most pathogenic parasite of the tropics. Embrapa Southeast Cattle has worked in the validation of such markers in a naturalized flock. Depending on the results, this panel of markers could be used in commercial flocks for the purposes of breeding and genetic improvement. The practical results of the selection through markers are both related to a higher frequency of animals that are more resistant to infections by gastrointestinal parasites in the flocks, and to an effective reduction in the number of infecting parasites in the fields.
Climate Change Global Soil Carbon Dynamics 2009-2011
Ladislau Martin Neto
Coordinator of the Embrapa-Labex USA Program
The main contributions of the Program, in this period, were::
Forest Management: introduction of the LIDAR technology (established in the use of light and laser) in Brazil for the 3D monitoring and assessment of the Amazon Forest, with the FS.
Animal Health: unprecedented research on the H1N1 influenza virus, jointly with USDA/ARS and that included a finding with recommendations about continued pork meat consumption, during the global H1N1 outbreak; and the development of the anti-tick bovine vaccine by ARS-Kerrville/Texas jointly with Embrapa Beef Cattle, whose tests indicated efficiency above 85% in herds. Moreover, he started research on the use of genomics in parasitic infections in sheep.
Establishment of the Inverted Labex USA, as researchers from USDA/ARS and FS were assigned to Embrapa to work with Nanotechnology, Climate Change and Forests.
Involvement of a group of researchers in the area of animal and plant conservation and genetic improvement, in the context of food securirty, at USDA/ARS-Fort Collins.
Climate Change: Establishment of cooperation with Research Network GRACEnet “Greenhouse gases Reduction and Agricultural Carbon Enhancement network”, world reference in research in climate change at USDA/ARS, and advances in research on carbon sequestration mechanisms and stabilization in the soil.
Other incorporated research: Plant Biotechnology (increased plant resistance to periods of drought) and Biodiversity - New Products and Bioactive Compounds.
Genetic Resources: transfer of 542 accessions from Embrapa's rice core collection to USDA/ARS. In a decade, USDA/ARS has sent more than 58,000 accessions to Brazil.
First visit of then President of the ARS, Edward Knipling, to Brazil and Embrapa, with signature of the new cooperation agreement for the Labex USA.
Genetic Resources 2009-2013
Alfredo Augusto Cunha Alves
The main areas of research on Genetic Resources led by Dr. Alfredo Alves are related to ‘Biotechnological procedures for long-term preservation and evaluation of the diversity of plant genetic resources’, where studies on in vitro micropropagation and cryopreservation techniques are the main focus.
Studies on methods of cryopreservation of cassava shoot tips show clear dependence of genotypes both between and within Manihot species. The validation of this methodology, with lower costs and a large number of Manihot species, can be routinely used in the near future by institutions with large collections such as Embrapa, CIAT, and IITA. An important result was the establishment and expansion of the Manihot collection in NGCRP/ARS using in vitro technology. Preliminary studies on in vitro multiplication of virus-free sugarcane accessions from the National Plant Germoplasm System (NPGS) showed a real possibility to meet Embrapa’s long-standing demand for sugarcane accessions from USDA/ARS. A specific research associate position linked to Labex has been approved to initiate the studies on cryopreservation of sugarcane's shoot tips, as well as to start the transfer of the first batch of accessions. Results on the physiological responses to elevated CO2, drought and nitrogen sources indicate that cassava will increase biomass accumulation in response to rising atmospheric CO2 concentration, and that the increase of carbon supply may minimize the negative effect of NH4+, temperature, and water stress on photosynthesis, water use efficiency, and dry matter accumulation. Labex also promoted the evaluation of the GRIN-Global interface within the community of Embrapa's curators.
Forest Research Management 2008-2011
Marcus Vinicios Neves D’Oliveira
The activities developed in the program had two focal priorities: the construction of a long-term international cooperation program and the development of research in strategic areas.
The main activities carried out during the period were:
- The Project “Amazon Forest Management Network” to connect education and research institutions, forest companies, communities, and governmental bodies related to environmental management, to ensure the sustainable management of forests in the region;
- Biomass Combustion Project (INPE, University of Washington, and Embrapa) - Study of Natural Regeneration and Secondary Succession in areas Managed with Fire in Western Amazon, with the aim of gathering a multidisciplinary team to investigate parameters concerning biomass combustion in forest fires and emissions;
- Use of LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) for forest planning and monitoring in the Amazon region through the project “LIDAR for forest planning and monitoring in the Antimary State Forest Western Amazon”, approved by the International Programs, through the U.S. Forest Service (FS/USDA);
- Integration of Program activities with the Brazilian Forest Service (SFB), which also has cooperation programs with the FS. In this integration, joint activities in the areas of Public Forest Management, National Forest Inventory and Training were held.
Cesar Heraclides Behling Miranda
Allocated in the Grain, Forage & Bioenergy Research Unit (GFBRU/ARS), he developed research in the area of agroenergy in the following themes: biomass (quality, new sources, characterization), production systems, agronomy, technological processes, chemistry and enzymology, coproducts and waste, machinery and equipment, and environment.
In the period, two research projects in a partnership between the Embrapa, ARS and Brazilian universities were approved:
- “Biofuel production from floating biomass islands in Brazil's floodplains: study case in Pantanal”, which aimed to evaluate the logistics and the practical and theoretical efficiency of biofuel production in that region;
- “Alternative sources of biomass for the sustainable production of ethanol from lignocelullosic materials”, which attempted to identify plant species for biomass production for second-generation biofuels.
The two main research results were the first approximation of equations to predict NIRS (infra red spectroscopy) readings for biomass from tropical grasses; and the determination of the amount of nitrogen obtained through biological fixation by genotypes of Styloshantes guyanensis and S. Capitata, leguminous plants of significant expression for tropical conditions, which can be excellent alternatives both for the sustainability of agricultural systems and for use as source of biomass for bionergy.
Virology - Animal Health 2008-2010
Janice Reis Ciacci Zanella
Janice Reis Ciacci Zanella worked as a researcher in the Embrapa-Labex USA Animal Health Program allocated to NADC/ARS/USDA, the greatest center of reference in animal health in the world (2008-2010). Besides research on the control and eradication of diseases (she conducted 18 projects, 12 of which at NADC), she also worked in their coordination for a short period, to prospect opportunities for the exchange of researchers between Embrapa and ARS (more than 15 partnerships in the period, and NADC keeps welcoming Animal Health researchers and researchers from Embrapa), to fund projects in Brazil (R$1,5 millions), and publish and organize workshops. USDA has recognized the team's efforts in research on influenza through awards and 10 million dollars in funds. The influenza vaccine used in swines around the world was developed and tested by such team. As a researcher in the Program, Zanella gave continuity to this work, advising (three Master's students) and approving projects in Brazil. This work informed the Animal Health Portfolio, of which she was nominated President in the period from 2012 to 2015.
Plant Protection 2007-2009
Felix Humberto França - retired
Embrapa-Labex USA Program Coordinator
During his term as Coordinator of the Embrapa-Labex USA Program, França liaised with American institutions, and fostered close ties between Embrapa and the USDA-ARS researchers, supporting the researchers assigned to this program. His term met the goals established by the AGROFUTURE Program with Labex USA as 21 research projects were approved by funding agencies in Brazil and the USA in the areas of bioinsecticides and other pest control techniques, new products uses and value aggregation, global climate change and genetic improvement.
Most Program targets were reached in partnership with Labex Europe, particularly in HLB/Greening's case, during Luis Fernando Vieira's term. With such initiatives, Embrapa started a research platform to encompass the HLB/Vector/Plant complex in citrus, within a national network that involved IAC - Citrus Research Center, Fundecitrus and ESALQ/USP and international centers such as CIRAD, ARS, University of Florida, and in the future it may accomodate Southern Cone countries.
Luiz Henrique Capparelli Mattoso
The goal of the Embrapa-Labex Program was to prospect opportunities for collaboration between ARS and Embrapa and to establish initial cooperation ties between these institution to exploit nanoscience and nanotechnology applications and possibly other areas that can contribute to the development of agribusiness.
All of Labex’s objectives on nanotechnology were successfully reached. New opportunities of collaboration between the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Embrapa were prospected and several cooperation links were established to exploit nanoscience and nanotechnology applications that can give important contribution to agribusiness in the development of new uses for agro-based products, new bioproducts, biodegradable plastics, edible films, hydrogels for controlled release, and new materials for taste and aroma sensors. Furthermore, a research network has been established at Embrapa involving ARS and Embrapa centers, as well other research institutes and universities, including the approval of several research projects and the establishment of a nanotech laboratory at Embrapa.
Genetic Resources 2005-2008
Luciano Lourenço Nass
In these three years, the program goals were: increase germplasm exchange between Brazil and the USA; follow and establish partnerships in strategic innovative lines of research; foster interaction between Embrapa and ARS researchers; assess and establish interaction in the area of documentation and information management in genetic resources; and critically assess genetic resource programs and germoplasm curatorship systems in both institutions.
The main research project aimed at studying and characterizing the behavior of lipids in maize seeds stored at different temperatures, including cryopreservation conditions, which started in the period and took a few years with the research group in Fort Collins.
In the period, cooperation agreements were established with: Colorado State University, University of Wisconsin - Madison, University of California - Davis, University of Mississippi - Oxford and INIFAP - Mexico.
Ten papers, an edited book, and six book chapters were published, among others. The coordinator participated in countless congresses, conferences, technical visits, and other activities.
A highlight was the introduction of 50,000 new germplasm accessions of different species in Brazil, especially the introduction of full rice and soybean collections.
Animal Health - Food Safety 2005-2007
José Renaldi Feitosa Brito - retired
The researcher worked in the Embrapa-Labex USA Program conducting the project: “Identification of pathogens in the dairy and pork chains”, with the participation of the Units: Embrapa Tropical Agroindustry, Embrapa Goats and Sheep, Embrapa Dairy Cattle, and Embrapa Swine and Poultry; and USDA-ARS/ERRC (Eastern Regional Research Center). Moreover, he collaborated to articulate other projects between Embrapa and USDA-ARS/ERRC and with the University of Wageningen, and participated in other research projects.
The recovery and the characterization of pathogens responsible foodborne diseases and the identification of the sources of contamination throughout the production chain were two of the goals reached in food safety in this program. The research led in collaboration with the ERRC partners had significant impact on the quality/safety of dairy products for consumers and can contribute to farmers remaining in the activity..
Plant Breeding and Biotechnology 2004-2007
Pedro Antônio Arraes Pereira
During the term, 13 projects were submitted to Embrapa’s Management System, and 19 projects were approved with external funds from Brazil or USA agencies through direct involvement with the Embrapa Labex Program. About 125 publications, 41 abstracts, 3 book chapters and 36 documents were produced. In addition, 60 visits from ARS researchers to Embrapa units in Brazil or Embrapa researchers to USDA/ARS laboratories were organized. A great effort was done by Labex members to disseminate research results and Labex’ modus operandi. In this period, 15 post-docs were hosted with the support of Brazilian agencies or of ARS, and includes the following areas: Food Security, Nanotechnology Genetic Resources, and Advanced biology.
All Labex objectives on nanotechnology were successfully reached. New opportunities of collaboration between the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Embrapa were prospected and several cooperation links were established to exploit nanoscience and nanotechnology applications that can give important contribution to agribusiness in the development of new uses for agro-based products, new bioproducts, biodegradable plastics, edible films, hydrogels for controlled release, and new materials for taste and aroma sensors.
New Uses for Agricultural Products 2002-2004
Mercedes Concórdia Carrão Panizzi
Main contributions: Prospection on biofuels - liaison with the University of Brasília's Fuel and Materials Laboratory (LMC/UnB) and NCAUR; organization of the symposium on Biodiesel, with the participation of scientists from the United States, Europe, Japan and Brazil at the IV International Soybean Processing and Utilization Conference (ISPUC-IV), in Foz do Iguaçu, 2004; on bioink for graphic printing - involvement of the LMC/UnB and MP3 project on soyink; on sunscreen - biodegradable soybean oil-based product for use in cosmetics, jointly with the company Boticário; on biodegradable plastics, films, adhesives, and compounds - jointly with Embrapa Instrumentation, with the NCAUR researchers visiting the unit and vice versa; in functional foods - courses on analysis methodologies for the determination and purification of isoflavones and saponins, jointly with Embrapa Food Agroindustry and Embrapa Soybeans, proposal of cooperation with the program Functional Foods for Health of the University of Illinois, collaboration in the organization of the workshop reduction of risks of chronic illnesses and consumption of soybean products, promoted by USP and ANVISA. Lectures given in different events and publications of the research results on genetic and environmental variability of soybean cultivars with regard to their composition of fatty acids, tocoferols, saponins, isoflavones, aminoacids and subunits of protein fractions.
Global Climate Change Carbon Soil Dynamics 2002-2004
Helvecio De Polli - retired
Project implementation: “ Soil carbon movement as affected by soil management and improved research work, related to global climate change”. The research was primarily held at USDA/ARS/BARC West Environmental Quality Laboratory and South Farm, Beltsville, MD. An analysis concerning 137Cs tracer studies was developed at the Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory (BARC West), and an analysis of mid-infrared and near-infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy for soil carbon measurement was conducted at the Animal Manure and By-products Laboratory (BARC East).
1. Composted deep-bedding production of swine for organic pork.
2. Modular multi-livestock production facilities for production of either poultry or swine.
3. Assessment of Brazilian microorganisms for improved animal waste treatment.
1. The use of high-tech swine waste treatment systems that remove solids, nitrogen, phosphorus, and pathogens.
2. Treatment of swine waste in a continuum of constructed wetlands, overland flow, and riparian buffers.
3. The use of riparian buffer strips and in-stream wetlands to prevent nonpoint source pollution from animal waste applications.
Integrated Disease and Pest Management 2002-2004
Antônio Ricardo Panizzi
Main contributions: an intensive minicourse on “Alert System for Integrated Pest Management”, taught by specialists of the University of Oregon, at Embrapa Soybeans. Relocation of a collection of 30,000 documents on soybean insects, through a donation from the University of Illinois, currently placed at Embrapa Soybeans. Enabling postdoc studies of a colleague from Embrapa Wheat at the USDA in Wooster, Ohio, on entomopathogenic nematodes. Enabling Embrapa colleagues to provide consultation on bioinsecticides for African countries (trilateral collaboration). Publicization of the programs on Integrated Pest Management held in Brazil in several forums within the USA. Facilitation of Brazilian scholarship holders' development of their PhD studies at USDA in Beltsville. Publicization of the results of research conducted by Labex in congresses by the Entomological Society of America (ESA). Establishments of research networks on entomopathogenic viruses, and development of artificial diets to breed insects, with researchers from USDA in Columbia, Missouri and in Peoria, Illinois. Pioneering research on stinkbug oviposition in artificial substrata chemically treated with plant extracts. Editing and publication of a Labex newsletter called “Antenagem” in the USDA in Peoria.
Modeling of Animal Production Systems 2001-2004
Airdem Gonçalves de Assis - retired
Coordinator Embrapa-Labex USA
Coordinator According to the coordinator of the Embrapa Labex USA Program, his work with the team of researchers contributed to the consolidation of cooperation beyond the USDA-ARS border. Such activities included the following themes:
- Management of animal excreta and microbasins;
- Quality and security of food of animal origin;
- Traceability and health monitoring of herds;
- Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE); Animal genomics;
- Hidrology and remote sensing; integrated pest management;
- Alternative crops;
- Forage resources;
- Germplasm conservation;
- Manipulation of bovine embryos; Organic agriculture;
- Potential use of zeolites in agriculture;
- Water quality and management;
- Human nutrition and
- Medical enthomology.
In addition, there was the project: “Test of a simulation model of milk and beef production under Brazilian conditions” in partnership with the USDA-ARS researcher allocated to the Penn State campus.
Animal health - Integrated Animal Disease Control 1998-2002
Terezinha Padilha - retired
The researcher aimed at concentrating efforts in the identification of animals with genetic traits of resistance and susceptibility to diseases, so as to focus in mechanisms that can reduce the consumption of chemical compounds. The results of the joint work especially include:
• Identification of chromosomic regions associated with resistance to diseases;
• Construction of study tool that can identify genes associated with immune response in bovines;
• Insertion of Embrapa's and partner institutions' research teams in the international partnership for the construction of the physical bovine gene map and inclusion of new Gyr breed genes in international gene banks.
Moreover, the researcher liaised in the areas of spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease), foot and mouth disease, antimicrobial resistance, and hygiene and traceability of the animal byproducts, along the Codex Alimentarius, World Health Organization, World Organization for Animal Health, European Economic Community, the USFDA and USDA.
Integrated Pest Management 1998-2001
In addition to his performance in the project “Integrated Plant Pest and Disease Management” aiming at a sustainable agriculture (a proposal that examined processes, flows and interactions between organisms based on new knowledge, using new study methods, monitoring and assessment of new techniques), Miguel Borges also liaised with the Embrapa units: Embrapa Soybeans, Embrapa Environment, Embrapa Vegetables, Embrapa Rice and Beans, Embrapa Tropical Agroindustry, Embrapa Mid-North, Embrapa Instrumentation, Embrapa Temperate Agriculture, Embrapa Western Agriculture, Embrapa Semiarid Agriculture, Embrapa Cerrados, Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology; as well as with American partners such as: Michigan State University, University of California - Davis, Ohio University, and USDA/ARS. His performance in this Program fostered papers jointly elaborated by researchers from Embrapa and from American partners, and he organized technical visits and congresses aiming at strengthening partnerships with partner institutions.
Intellectual Property Rights 1998-2000
Maria José Sampaio
In 1996, Brazil initiated the implementation of intellectual property right laws, in line with the accession to the TRIPS Agreement. As Labex's work strategy has always included the search for the "new and strategic" to quickly incorporate it into Embrapa's programming, it was determined that one of its first topics would include training and learning in the field of intellectual property (IP), its institucional management and its connection with business in public-private partnerships.
Cornell University was identified as a partner, as it was already putting the management of its IP portfolio into practice in the shape of business contracts with startups or large companies involving IP as a tool in public-private partnerships. In addition, there was also fruitful interaction with ARS' IP Office, where the negotiation of protected cultivars with large seed companies was at an implementation stage, anticipating the arrival of GM seeds in international market related to the agricultural sector.
The knowledge provided by the Labex program results in major impact on Embrapa's activities in the scope of global policies, furthering the participation of Brazilian delegations in global forums that have direct impact on agriculture.
Precision Agriculture 1998-2001
Ariovaldo Luchiari Junior
was a member of the first Labex team assigned to ARS' Soil and Water Conservation Research Unit in Lincoln, Nebraska, from 1998 to 2002, carrying on research on precision agriculture. His research focused on the establishment of homogenous zones for nutrient management and on the development of active reflectance sensors for real time nitrogen management. The strategy to use the inversion of the growing seasons, i.e., doing research in Brazil during the winter in the US and vice-versa, allowed for two cycles of research in one year. With regard to collaboration between USDA-ARS and Embrapa, he participated in joint R&D projects and in the establishment of Embrapa's Precision Agriculture Network. He also took part in the formulation of USDA-ARS National Research Program on Integrated Agricultural Systems and in the establishment of the Nebraska Agricultural Technologies Association. He promoted a Brazilian and American researcher exchange scheme in R&D and professional education activities.
Soil Resource Management 1998-2001
Coordinator of the Embrapa-Labex USA Program
As the first Coordinator of the Embrapa-Labex USA Program, Crestana made important articulations efforts to begin start the activities of this important partnership between Embrapa and USDA-ARS.
With regard to cooperative research programs currently being discussed and that started in that period, it is worth highlighting:
- The Program involving NASA-LBA, INPE, Embrapa, and USDA-ARS in the field of natural resources management of natural resources, in the Brazilian Amazon region;
- The one in the field of Animal Genomes;
- The one in Sustainable Agriculture;
- The International Insect Genome Program in Insect Genomes involving France, the US, and Brazil;
- The Program to receive the NASA airplane mission in Brazil in 2001;
- The Program with NASA to establish, in Brazil, satellite data collection, calibration and validation stations: Advanced Microwave Sanning Radiometer to be launched by NASA to monitor the water cycle on the Earth’s surface of the Earth;
- The Program on the Management of Swine and Poultry Dejects in the Concordia,Santa Catarina,Brazil.
No campo da Agricultura de Precisão e Gestão de Solo e Água, foram realizados experimentos em ambos os países, desenvolvendo e usando sensores de condução de eletricidade do solo, detectando tensões de nitrogênio, fósforo e água, incluindo a aplicação de Funções de Pedotransferência na base do solo brasileiro, para prever as propriedades da água.