Batistella brings Brazilian connections to CFANS
In October 2016, Mateus Batistella began a 12 month assignment as a visiting scholar in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota, St Paul. In addition to his Belmont Forum and related research activities, Mateus is serving as the founding local facilitator of Labex-Flex, a novel University of Minnesota-Embrapa collaborative research partnership. Embrapa is the Brazilian equivalent to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Mateus Batistella graduated with undergraduate degrees in Biology at the University of São Paulo (USP) and in Philosophy at the Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC). He has a master degree in Ecology from the University of São Paulo and a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Environmental Science from Indiana University (USA).
From 2009 to 2015, Mateus was Director General of Embrapa's Satellite Monitoring Center, and then moved to Embrapa's Secretariat for International Affairs located at Embrapa headquarters in Brasilia. Batistella is also a collaborating professor at the University of Campinas doctoral program in Environment and Society. His research focuses on the use of geo-technologies to assess landscape ecologies and land use change. He coordinates projects throughout Brazil and presently leads an international team of 24 researchers working on a Food Security and Land Use project under the auspices of the Belmont Forum.
In October 2016, Mateus began a 12 month assignment as a visiting scholar in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota, St Paul. In addition to his Belmont Forum and related research activities, Mateus is serving as the founding local facilitator of Labex-Flex, a novel University of Minnesota-Embrapa collaborative research partnership. The Labex-Flex in St Paul will catalyze and coordinate strategic research partnerships involving UMN and Embrapa and their respective public and private sector research partners. Mateus St Paul campus office is 249C Ruttan Hall.
Embrapa (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária https://www.embrapa.br/en/international), the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, was established in 1973 as a state-owned research corporation affiliated with the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture. Embrapa employs almost 9,800 people (2,444 scientist) operating in 46 research units located throughout Brazil. Embrapa's mission is to "provide research, development and innovation solutions for the sustainability of agriculture and for the benefit of Brazilian society." Embrapa is at the forefront of the transformation of Brazilian agriculture into a globally significant producer and exporter of a host of food and agricultural products.
Labex-Flex, University of Minnesota
Embrapa's Labex program consists of a series of virtual laboratories staffed by Embrapa scientists located in selected sites throughout the world. The Labex program, launched in 1998, is designed to promote scientific and technological cooperation between Brazilian and rest-of-world scientists. The first of these virtual labs was established at the headquarters of the USDA-ARS in Beltsville, Maryland, with other labs located in Montpellier, France and in several Asian countries.
All of these existing labs involve joint research among Embrapa and its counterpart government agencies. The Labex-Flex-UMN, located on the St Paul campus of the University of Minnesota, represents the first of a new form of virtual Embrapa laboratories linking Embrapa to a research university. Batistella is the local Embrapa facilitator of Labex-Flex-UMN, which operates in conjunction with Labex-USA located in USDA under the coordination of Dr. Geraldo Bueno Junior Martha.
Labex-Flex-UMN is an institutional innovation designed to enable and deepen the research relationships between Embrapa, the University of Minnesota, and the public and private partners of both agencies. The U's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) has a long and significant history of international engagement in agricultural research and development. However, cognizant of the rapidly changing public-private roles in food and agricultural research and development in the 21st century, and the shifting locus of global agriculture, this new Embrapa-CFANS partnership is part of UMN's revitalized strategic, global engagement in agricultural research and development being spearheaded by CFANS. Streamlining research collaboration between agricultural research powerhouses such as Embrapa and CFANS, accelerates science-based sustainable productivity growth in local and global agriculture. Improved productivity performance is key to securing affordable access to safe and nutritious food while preserving, if not enhancing, the natural resources (soil, water, biodiversity) affected by agriculture in the decades ahead.
Photo One: Dr. Mateus Batistella began a 12-month assignment as a visiting scholar to CFANS in October and is serving as the founding local faciliator of Labex-Flex. Photo Two: Batistella is the secretriat for international affairs of Embrapa, Brazil's equivalent to the U.S.D.A. Photo three: Batistella (near center) participates in the internal information roll-out of the International AgroInformatics Alliance held Jan. 20 in Borlaug Hall.