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TROPIBIO will pursue the following specific objectives:
i) To enhance the critical mass of highly-qualified human resources in the field of tropical biology, by hiring a top-level researcher (the ERA Chair holder) and support team, thereby strengthening CIBIO’s research capacity and overcoming problems of brain drain.
ii) To consolidate the capacity of CIBIO as an active player in the ERA, enhancing potential to engage in networks of European excellence centres that will assist in capacity building through know-how exchange, and expanding its structural ability to prepare successful applications to EU Framework Programmes and to get involved in AFRICA-EU cooperation programs in science, technology and innovation, thus contributing to the achievement of the objectives arising from the High Level Policy Dialogue AFRICA-EU.
iii) To consolidate a network of TwinLabs in Portuguese-speaking African countries (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé e Príncipe), and promoting their integration in research meta-networks in Western and Southern Africa regions, thereby building strong partnerships, enhancing training and capacity building and promoting conditions to develop cutting-edge research with high societal impact.
iv) To enhance capacity for using advanced approaches and technologies related to non-invasive genetics, genomic and metagenomics tools for cost-effective assessment and sustainable use of tropical biodiversity, benefiting from a previous ERA Chair in Environmental Metagenomics (EnvMetGen) and mainstreaming their use to address complex research and innovation challenges.
v) To further align CIBIO´s research with key application domains corresponding to the priority societal challenges of ERA strategic planning, UN 2030 SDGs and Agenda 2063, namely those related to food security; sustainable agriculture and forestry; aquatic living resources; climate change; environmental protection; sustainable management of natural resources, water, biodiversity and ecosystems; sustainable supply of raw materials; green economy; and development of global environmental observation and information systems.
vi) To reinforce the engagement with stakeholders, including large private corporations, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and non-governmental organizations, with a particular focus on organizations operating in Portuguese speaking African countries, thereby increasing the dissemination of research results and promoting the exploitation of such results to address societal challenges, UN 2030 SDGs and Agenda 2063.
vii) To enhance appreciation for tropical biodiversity, ecosystems and ecological research, underlining its role to address pressing societal challenges and increase the wealth and well-being of local populations, through the deployment of streamlined strategies of communication, dissemination and exploitation.
viii) To assure sustainability of high-level tropical biology research at CIBIO beyond the end of the project, creating conditions to retain the ERA Chair holder and its team, and assure a regular flow of research funding from public and private sources.
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