Policy Background

In Brazil there are two main funding agencies in the transport area;the innovation agency FINEP (Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos) and research agency CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico). The FINEP and CNPq are responsible for the operation of four Sectorial R&D Funds: CT-AEROAUTICO (Aeronautics Sector), CT-AQUAVIARIO (Marine and River Transportation Sectors), CT-ESPACIAL (Space Activities) and CT-TRANSPORTE (Rail & Road Sectors). These funds receive obligatory contributions from companies with concession contracts in Brazil. The objective of these funds is to promote R&D investments focused on increasing competitiveness of the respective sectors. In general, the Sectorial Funds promote R&D programmes and projects in transport-related areas such as materials, techniques and process of construction, repair and maintenance; training of human resources; development of industrial technology and implementation of infrastructure for research activities.

Research priorities are established by the Steering Committees for each of the Sectorial Funds, based on the strategic actions of the Government Plan (Brasil Plano Maior). The articulation and integration of these Sectors is managed by the Sectorial Funds Coordination Committees. The Steering Committee is integrated by ministry representatives linked with the sector, government agencies, universities, enterprises, the FINEP and the CNPq. The Steering Committees define the guidelines, actions and investment plans of funded sectors.

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) is the leading government institution for research in transport strategy issues. The Ministry manages the National Fund of Scientific and Technological Development (Fundo Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, FNDCT), which is the budget source for the Sectorial Funds.  Additionally, the MCTI manage 26 Research Support Foundations (FAPs) which are located in each federal state and at the Federal District of Brasilia. These research support foundations aim to assist the research and innovation community in their respective state.

Institutional framework of transport research

In Brazil, the main funding institutions of transport research are the FINEP, the CNPq and the FAP’s. While FINEP manages the resources of the Sectorial Funds and receives additional funding for its own innovation programmes, CNPq is the main public source for research funding.

The FINEP gives non-reimbursable funding for the Sectorial Funds. The Sectorial Funds distribute resources through bid invitations for sponsorship of cooperative projects between the universities and the private sector in order to foster technologic innovation cooperative networks, institutional projects, academic meetings and consultancy studies. The Sectorial Funds support all kinds of projects from basic science to more specialised areas including transport research. Funding is available to projects that extend over a fiscal year

The FINEP also provides reimbursable funding for research in transportation, with own or transferred resources. The proposals can be made anytime of the year. The grace and amortisation periods differ according to the characteristics of the project and the borrowing institution. The credits are repayable with a long-term interest rate plus spread (2-6% p.a.).

The CNPq encourages the academic community to sponsor tuition scholarships and aid. The CNPq funds research scholarships in universities, think-tanks and enterprises (small and medium-sized) within the country and abroad. Also, the CNPq gives aid for project implementation and sponsors students and researchers to participate in top scientific national and international events, meetings and to publish in scientific journals.

Finally, the FAPs are the Innovation Support Foundations. They provide tuition scholarships and research funding for projects and/or studies within the country or abroad. The scholarships go to research in graduate studies (including postdoctoral) at Brazilian or foreign universities (sometimes as part of a sandwich doctoral programme). The research funding includes regular financial aid for research, equipment reparations, arrival expenses of guest researchers, organisation and participation in scientific or technological meetings, and stipends for publications.

Organisations responsible for the institutional framework and funding:

Funding Sources and Support Initiatives

There are currently no known ongoing programmes.