BRAZIL: Business moves to support academic research

When the world's second-biggest mining company said last year that it would open three state-of-the-art research centres in Brazil, it marked the most visible development yet in the changing relationship between business and academe there, writes Andrew Downie for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Acknowledging that Brazil has struggled to produce innovative thinkers and internationally known research, the company, Vale, said it would spend $400-million on the three-campus Vale Technology Institute, employing hundreds of university-level researchers and providing research opportunities to students in fields including mining, sustainable development and renewable energy.

The mining giant's big step is one of a series of investments by Brazilian businesses to support advanced research and, in some cases, improve the quality of academic programmes in the country's universities.
Full report on The Chronicle site