Researcher Links Workshop: Translating Knowledge Into Innovation

19 a 23/3/2018

Blue Tree Towers Guarujá

Researcher Links Trilateral Workshop: UK (British Council/Newton Fund), Brazil (FAPESP) and Uruguay

Exploring the potential of biological soft matter in agrifood challenges

Full funding available for Early Career Researchers

Deadline: 19th February 2018
Dates: 19-23rd, March 2018.
Location: Guarujá, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Apply here: https://www.britishcouncil.org.br/events/NFRL-Gadelha

Organisers: Dr Hermes Gadêlha (U. York), Prof. Jose Cuminato (USP – Sao Carlos), Dr. Nicolas Benech (U. of the Republic);

Mentors: Prof Martin Bees (U. York); Prof Gustavo Buscaglia (USP – São Carlos), Prof Carlos A. Negreira (U. of the Republic).

Newton Fund Researcher Links provides opportunities for early career researchers from the UK, Brazil and Uruguay to interact and explore opportunities for building long-lasting research collaborations.


“Soft matter”, a term introduced by Pierre de Gennes in his Nobel prize lecture, deals with all kinds of “squidgy” materials. This encompasses all biological matter, from tissues and organs in the human body to fauna and flora, essential in agriculture, to microbes and pathogens that are crucially relevant to health and disease. Uruguay and Brazil share common challenges in agriculture and food production, from livestock farming and selective breeding to biofuel production, which form a significant part of both economies. Lack of water sanitation, growing bacterial-resistance and extensive use of antibiotics and growth hormones, are deadly and affect millions of lives. Bio-soft matter science can directly tackle all of the above. This workshop aims to accelerate the integration of this expertise. We will focus on building up links for future collaborations.


This is an explorative workshop which aims to inspire and challenge all participants by asking each one’s visions of the future on how bio-soft matter science can be exploited to tackle the sustainable development goals set out by the UN, by not limiting ourselves by what is possible now, but crucially our views for the next 10 years. The starting point will be the current forefront of each participant’s research, using this as a steppingstone to project and translate into new collaborations. This forum will further identify the priorities and challenges for the next few years.


No experience in agrifood production research is needed, but rather interest in applying soft matter research (theory/experiment) to tackle opportunities revolving this global challenge. The workshop will focus on soft-matter science with the novel view point of agrifood challenges. This encompasses areas such Elastography, mechanical properties of soft material, mathematical biology and biophysics, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics and elasticity, stochastic and dynamical systems in a wide range of length-scales, from single molecule to population dynamics.

Suggested areas and applications

Animal reproduction, livestock production, plant and animal science, including marine systems, biofuel production and biofilm formation. Meat/fish production and meat elastography. Water science, water filtration, waterborn infections, bacterial growth and antibiotic bacterial-resistance and viruses, elasticity related diseases either at cell or macroscopic level. Participants are encouraged to bring other cross-related areas of interest.