Pamela Lang (Fiocruz News Agency)
During a mission to Germany in October (10/16 to 20), Fiocruz president Mario Moreira and vice-president of Research and Biological Collections Maria de Lourdes Oliveira made official visits to three institutions: the Robert Koch Institute; Charité; and the Paul Ehrlich Institute. The aim was to map out the possibilities for synergy between the actions of Fiocruz and the German institutes for future partnerships, especially in the areas of research, surveillance, technological development and innovation.
The initiative is part of Fiocruz's Internationalization Strategy, whose ordinance was published on October 23rd and which aims to establish actions aimed at technological development, innovation and appropriation of technologies and products of interest to the Unified Health System (SUS), in accordance with Fiocruz's Innovation Policy.
On a visit to the headquarters of the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Frankfurt, the vice-president, accompanied by researcher Marcelo Pelajo, presented Fiocruz and discussed partnership prospects with a focus on surveillance and regulation. The Institute, like Fiocruz, is linked to the German Ministry of Health and is responsible for research, assessment and marketing authorization of biomedicines for human use and immunological veterinary medicines. The Institute also works on the authorization of clinical trials and pharmacovigilance. The meeting resulted in the intention of the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between the institutions.
In Berlin, another institution linked to the German government received the Fiocruz delegation, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany's national public health institute which acts as the government's main institution for disease surveillance, control and prevention and applied biomedical research.
The visit to the Institute marked the first meeting between the presidents of the two century-old institutions. The Fiocruz delegation, including president Mario Moreira and vice-president Maria de Lourdes, was received by RKI director Las Schaade, vice-president Johanna Hanefeld and the head of the Center for International Health Protection, Iris Hunger.
Topics of possible synergy between the century-old institutions were discussed, such as climate change, preparedness and intelligence in public health, diseases of public health significance, global health, single health, sewage-based epidemiology, surveillance systems, genomic surveillance, bioinformatics and mycology (toxoplasmosis and cryptococcosis). As a result of the meeting, the presidents agreed to organize virtual workshops with German and Brazilian researchers in order to structure a joint work plan. After the meeting, the Brazilian delegation visited the Institute's museum, which focuses on scientific dissemination and the history of its founder.