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Visits to Fiocruz boost construction of the Fiocruz Ceará-Pasteur Platform


Ciro Oiticica and Cristina Azevedo (Fiocruz News Agency)


The Governor of Ceará, Elmano de Freitas, was received, last Thursday (3/16), by the Acting President of Fiocruz, Mario Moreira, to discuss advances in the Eusébio Health Innovation District, of which Fiocruz Ceará is part. The meeting focused on investments for the region and on attracting partners that might add to the health industrial center, among which is the Pasteur Institute. Urbanistic and legal issues were also addressed to accelerate the implementation of the necessary infrastructure.

Governor of Ceará, Elmano de Freitas was received by the interim president of Fiocruz, Mario Moreira, and other representatives of the institution (photo: Carlos Gibaja / Government of Ceará)

“The moment is for reconstruction, but also for resumption”, commented the President of Fiocruz. “We have to seize the moment to boost the Innovation District itself”. Governor Elmano de Freitas celebrated the partnership and guaranteed that the most immediate challenges will be overcome.

The Pasteur Institute is one of the partners interested in participating in the industrial health center. In more advanced conversations for its installation in the area, the institute has already defined an international technical expert to monitor and integrate the activities. “This initiative is concrete and is now irreversible”, said Wilson Savino, Special Advisor to the Presidency of Fiocruz, who participated remotely in the meeting. “This scientific and political fact makes the link between the Government of Ceará, Fiocruz, and the Pasteur Institute definitive”. Mario Moreira placed Pasteur's visit in a broader movement to attract collaborators. “This is part of the flourishing of a qualified industry around the Innovation District”.

The meeting focused on investments in the Eusébio Health Innovation District and on attracting partners to join the health industrial hub (photo: Carlos Gibaja / Government of Ceará)

Besides the Acting President, Mario Moreira, and the Special Advisor, Wilson Savino, the delegation from the Presidency of Fiocruz included Paulo Gadelha, Coordinator of Fiocruz's Strategy for the 2030 Agenda, and Artur Couto, Deputy Director of Management and Market of the Immunobiological Technology Institute (Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz). Representing Fiocruz Ceará were the General Coordinator, Carla Celedônio, and the Innovation Coordinator, Odorico Monteiro. The Director of the Association for Technological Development and Innovation in Health (ADTIS), Carlo Ferrentini, was also present, as well as the Advisor, Edna Cassimiro, and the State Attorney General, Rafael Machado Moraes. The Governor Elmano de Freitas was accompanied by the Secretary of Health, Tânia Mara Silva Coelho, and the Secretary of Federative Affairs, Leonardo Araújo, from the Government of Ceará.

Fiocruz Ceará-Pasteur Platform begins a new phase

The construction of the Fiocruz Ceará-Pasteur Platform is entering a new phase with the help of researchers to identify potential partners for research lines and to start the cooperation between the institutions. A public notice, prepared by the French Embassy, the Pasteur Institute, and Fiocruz, selected the Researcher Caroline Pereira Bittencourt Passaes to assume the position of Regional Scientific Advisor of the Pasteur Institute – Fiocruz Ceará. With a Master's and Doctoral Degree from Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (IOC/Fiocruz) and having worked at the Pasteur Institute for ten years, Caroline visited this week several units of the Foundation in Rio de Janeiro (March 13th and 14th).

The new phase, according to the Vice President of Research and Biological Collections at Fiocruz, Rodrigo Correa-Oliveira, is “an important milestone” in a cooperation that “has been built years ago and continues to grow”. “This integration process shows the great interest of the institutions in promoting this collaboration”, said Rodrigo, highlighting the support of Acting President Mario Moreira for this partnership, which is considered strategic.

Construction of the Fiocruz Ceará-Pasteur Platform enters a new phase with the help of researchers to identify potential partners for lines of research and initiate closer ties between the institutions (photo: Pedro Linger)

In her visit to the Mourisco Castle of Fiocruz, Researcher Caroline was accompanied by Rodrigo; by the Embassy's Science and Technology Attaché, Nacer Boubenna; and by Pasteur's Regional Cooperation Manager for the Americas, Chloé Rabiet; in addition to Carla Celedônio, Coordinator of Fiocruz Ceará, and Ilka Villardo, Advisor of the Center for International Relations in Health (Cris/Fiocruz). “The agreement is a result of ‘science diplomacy’”, highlighted Nacer Boubenna. “We use science to strengthen collaborations between countries and to also remember that scientific results can help in policy making. This is very important, as we are seeing with the environment and health: The importance of researchers’ words being heard”.

The strategic integration plan, designed by the Research Coordinator at Fiocruz Ceará, João Hermínio Martins da Silva, and by Fiocruz's Special Advisor for Cooperation with French Institutions, Wilson Savino, is being refined by Carla Celedônio, who has been acting as Director of Fiocruz Ceará for two months. “At the moment in which the Fiocruz unit in Ceará completes 15 years of existence, the platform has conditions to contribute not only to the Northeast, but to the country as a whole”, says Carla. In a second moment, the integration strategy also aims to identify possibilities of joint work between the Education Department of the Pasteur and the Vice Presidency of Education, Information and Communication (Vpeic/Fiocruz). “I have many possibilities for the work ahead of me”, commented the researcher.

Virologist and one of the co-authors in the study on the third AIDS cure case, Caroline is going to take a broader approach, involving all her experience in immunology and immunotherapy, focusing no longer only on infectious diseases, but also on degenerative diseases and cancer. The idea is that the research bear fruit for application in the Unified Health System (SUS). “I am sure that knowing both institutions will be a great facilitator. This makes the start of the work immediate, as the time spent to learn about their structures will not be necessary”, she highlighted.

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