The initiative is the result of negotiations initiated by President Jair Bolsonaro.
Jan 12, Sao Paulo: Brazil and Japan signed the Memorandum of Cooperation between governments in the field of technologies related to the production and use of niobium and graphene.
The objective of the bilateral document is to deepen mutual understanding to explore cooperation in the value chain of products that use niobium or graphene and provide more structured cooperation in the future, including potential joint projects.
The initiative is the result of negotiations initiated by President Jair Bolsonaro, who in 2019 expressed interest in cooperation with the then Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, during the Davos Economic Forum; and a meeting between the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations, Marcos Pontes and the Ambassador of Japan to Brazil, Akira Yamada in 2019. The memorandum was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Araújo, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Toshimitsu Motegi.
"The agreement is essential because Japan is a country that has high technology and joins us in seeking to explore the capabilities of niobium and graphene," said the executive secretary of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI), Leonidas Medeiros. "These materials are products of the future, which will reach the entire production chain in the countries, in the industrial part and in the use of technology."
During the meeting, held at the Itamaraty Palace, in Brasília (DF), cooperation agreements were also signed between the two countries in the areas of biodiversity, sensor development and precision agriculture platform in support of sustainable Brazilian agriculture and use of technologies advanced synthetic aperture radar and use of artificial intelligence to combat illegal deforestation.
Strategic minerals and cooperation
In October 2016, Brazil and Japan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation for the Promotion of Investments and Economic Cooperation in the Infrastructure Sector. Since then, the governments of both countries have expressed a mutual interest in expanding Japanese investment in Brazil, including rare or strategic minerals, such as graphene and niobium.
In July 2020, a public call was opened to support graphene-based technological ventures, allocating approximately R $ 1.5 million to support proposals for applied research, technological development and innovation aimed at generating technology-based ventures and solutions, with the aim of main object is graphene.
Niobium is considered a strategic mineral for the country. Brazil is the world's largest producer of this material, responsible for approximately 86% of production, and Japan is one of the main importers of the ferroniobium alloy (9.6% of that exported by Brazil).
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