Experts from the University of Birmingham joined partners at São Paulo State University (UNESP) on Monday 13 March to lay the foundation for joint research aimed at solving major problems facing both countries.

Research specialists from Birmingham and São Paulo have created a partnership that will investigate a range of issues related to energy storage and sustainable cities – both major global challenges, but particularly relevant to Brazil.

Energy experts discussed future collaboration in areas such as smart grid and energy storage, waste water treatment and thermal energy. Sustainability and liveability experts explored potential partnerships around urban governance, transport economics and city planning.

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The workshop, in São Paulo, was opened by University of Birmingham Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) Professor Robin Mason and Professor José Celso Freire Junior, Associate Provost for International Affairs at UNESP.

Dr Jonathan Radcliffe led the delegation of energy experts from Birmingham. Professor John Bryson headed up the Sustainable Cities team.

Professor Robin Mason said: “The University of Birmingham is proud to work with our partners at UNESP. The themes of Energy Storage and Sustainable Cities present us with opportunities to develop new research projects to find common solutions to shared problems. This innovative initiative brings together experts from our two universities to map out exciting research pathways.

“This partnership with UNESP is testament to Birmingham’s reputation for innovation and intellectual curiosity. As a global ‘civic’ university, we have a responsibility to enrich the life of our home city and the wider world.”

The research workshop is part of an ongoing long-term relationship between the University of Birmingham and UNESP, one of Brazil’s most prestigious research organisations.

Professor José Celso Freire Junior said: “Some people in this room today may not have the understanding that this event actually started four or five years ago, when Unesp and University of Birmingham started their collaborations. Since then, we have worked together on meetings, exchange of professor and technical staff and other partnerships.

“Today, the University of Birmingham is a strategic partner for Unesp and we are proud to receive their researchers to elaborate projects that attack global challenges.”

Today’s workshop sees Brazilian and British researchers working together strategically to plan how they can make a greater impact in major global challenges in the UK and Brazil, by developing long-term programmes in collaborative research, and by developing new technologies.

The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions. It brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries. It engages internationally with other leading universities to tackle global challenges. It has extensive collaborative research partnerships with distinguished universities across Brazil and over 70 of our academics are actively engaged in these relationships.

Details of the workshop in Portuguese can be found here:!/noticia/25950/reino-unido-e-brasil-discutem-sustentabilidade-no-meio-urbano/

Among the British speakers was Professor Miloud Ouladi, who talked about experiences in the transformation of waste into energy at scale applicable to both urban and rural environment. Professor Yulong Ding, Director of the Center for Energy Storage at the University of Birmingham, presented his work developing technologies and applications for thermal storage. Miles Tight discussed the impact of changes in transportation systems, with an emphasis on cyclists and pedestrians. Cristina Zara and Catherine Walker have been researching the perception of young people from the interior communities of São Paulo about the relationship between food, water and energy.