— Council on Competitiveness

Council of Competitiveness


2nd U.S. – Brazil Bi-National Innovation Platform Steering Committee Charts Path for a Stronger, Deeper Relationship between the Western Hemisphere’s Two Largest Economies

February 19, 2014


Lisa Hanna
Vice President, Communications
Council on Competitiveness
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High-level Steering Committee outlines steps for a “bi-national innovation platform” – and identifies potential pilot projects around which to cooperate and mobilize resources to solve global grand challenges in key sectors.

  (Livermore, CA)  - A joint U.S. and Brazilian delegation of more than 30 senior leaders from industry, academia, national laboratories and research organizations, and government officials – led by Deborah Wince-Smith, President and CEO, Council on Competitiveness, and João Alziro Herz da Jornada, President, Brazilian National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality (INMETRO) – participated on February 18-19, 2014 in the 2nd U.S.-Brazil Bi-National Innovation Platform Steering Committee meeting at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), hosted by Deputy Director for Science and Technology William H. Goldstein.

“The 2nd U.S.-Brazil Bi-National Innovation Platform Steering Committee meeting builds from a successful kick-off last September at the 3rd U.S.-Brazil CEO Innovation Summit in Rio de Janeiro – as well as more than a decade of increasing collaboration and co-creation between these two great nations. The Innovation Platform will become the key, hemispheric launch pad for jointly developed, far-reaching ideas and actions, as well as new-to-the-world projects and public-private partnerships, to deepen an already positive conversation between the United States and Brazil. And this Steering Committee meeting was the first opportunity for leaders from both nations to come together and share ideas and potential projects,” said Deborah Wince-Smith.

This Steering Committee meeting focused on articulating and developing pathways for new partnerships to: optimize technological innovation in the life sciences; leverage opportunities across the global energy spectrum; develop and deploy information and communications technologies to drive innovation across all sectors of society; and, innovate sustainably in the nexus of food, energy and water resources.

In particular, the Council on Competitiveness, Georgetown University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory proposed a novel partnership between the United States and Brazil to accelerate the translation of science to new medicines, advance scientific computing and tools, build next generation pharmaceutical R&D capability, address unmet clinical needs, and accelerate commercialization pathways in both nations – the Comprehensive Drug Discovery and Development Initiative (CD3I).

“This initiative builds upon a 15-year effort by a team of Georgetown life-scientists to create a one-of-a-kind, in silico database that currently holds more than 116 million molecular structures that can be used as drugs," said Spiros Dimolitsas, Senior Vice President for Research and Chief Technology Officer, Georgetown University. “In addition, it further leverages Georgetown's Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI); one of only two centers established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States,” said Howard Federoff, Georgetown University Executive Vice President for Health Sciences.

And, as ORNL Director Thomas Mason notes, “Investments by the U.S. Department of Energy have provided ORNL with forefront resources for computing and data analytics that span hardware, software, and scientific expertise. Through this partnership, we have the opportunity to put these resources to work on the challenge of creating and applying scalable applications to understand the implications of polypharmacology and open new avenues to drug design.”

Researchers at LLNL have pioneered the application of accelerator mass spectrometry to biological research. Bill Goldstein, LLNL’s Deputy Director for Science and Technology, observes that “This technology can measure extremely low, sub-therapeutic concentrations of drugs with high accuracy to address questions of activity, toxicity, and efficacy. The ability to experiment at extremely low concentrations, coupled with the extensive modeling and simulation capabilities at LLNL, represents a powerful resource for accelerating the development and testing of new therapies.”

The U.S.-Brazil Bi-National Innovation Platform builds off of a Memorandum of Understanding signed exclusively by the Council on Competitiveness, the Brazilian Development Bank, the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development and the Brazilian Competitiveness Movement at the 3rd U.S. Brazil Innovation Summit in 2013 and provides for a mutually beneficial framework for both countries to work from to achieve shared goals including: carrying out joint projects of mutual interest related to knowledge creation, education, training and workforce support; legal and regulatory environment for innovation and investments; and the financial environment needed to fund innovative ideas.
The U.S.-Brazil Bi-National Innovation Platform Steering Committee Meeting is one of a series of planned gatherings in 2014, preceding the 4th U.S.-Brazil Innovation Summit that will take place in 2015, hosted by the Council on Competitiveness and the University of California-San Diego.



The Council on Competitiveness is the only group of corporate CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders and directors of national laboratories committed to the future prosperity of all Americans and enhanced U.S. competitiveness in the global economy through the creation of high-value economic activity in the United States. The Council is a non-partisan and non-governmental organization.  For more information, see the Council’s website and a full list of publications at Check out the Council on Competiveness’ Facebook page for further updates or follow @competenow on Twitter.
Georgetown University, the nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university, is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions, offering a unique educational experience that prepares the next generation of global citizens to lead and make a difference in the world. Students receive a world-class learning experience focused on educating the whole person through exposure to different faiths, cultures and beliefs.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provides solutions to our nation's most important national security challenges through innovative science, engineering and technology. LLNL also applies its multidisciplinary capabilities to challenges in health, energy, climate change and the technological innovation that underpins the nation’s economic competitiveness. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee is the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest multiprogram science and energy laboratory, focused on delivering scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs that will accelerate the development and deployment of solutions in clean energy and global security, and in doing so create economic opportunity for the nation.


Lisa Hanna
T 202 383 9507
F 202 682 5150