Since its launch in 1998, the Labex program has been constantly assessed by Embrapa to ensure performance and adjust it to make it more efficient and dynamic. In that sense, since then Embrapa has already advanced in the inclusion of new partner institutions to host Labex researchers, implemented the “Labex Flex” format, expanded the initiative for other countries and reformulated the process of expatriating employees, among others.
New partners and new borders
In order to promote the diversification of partnerships and ensure the allocation of Labex researchers to reference laboratories, Embrapa has maintained cooperation with traditional partners (like USDA-ARS and INRA/Cirad/IRD, in the US and in France, respectively), but it has also sought new arrangements, like the implementation of Labex program posts in other US institutions (USDA-FS and Texas A&M University), in South Korea (RDA), the Netherlands (Wageningen University), the United Kingdom (Rothamsted Research and IFR), China (CAAS), and Germany (Julich Institute).
To ensure the synergy among international scientific cooperation mechanisms and thus cause higher impact in its research agenda, Embrapa has been implementing actions that combine its “Visiting Scientists” international capacity-building program (when researchers spend about a year abroad in training) with ongoing Labex activities, resulting in the Labex Flex Researcher format. Hence research and development themes are aligned in both Embrapa programs, which ensures a higher volume of results.
With the aim of ensuring legal certainty in the complex process of employee expatriation, in 2015 Embrapa implemented new internal regulations that make employee rights and duties once their activites abroad are approved clearer and more transparent.