Representatives from Scottish Universities will travel to Brazil to lead a series of workshops on environmental management, pollution and agriculture.
Hoping to forge links with the South American country, representatives from seven Scottish universities will travel to Brazil under the Connected Scotland banner.
University leaders in Scotland have described the trip as a “huge opportunity”, adding that moves such as this could see Scotland established as “one of the world’s leading innovation nations”.
According to the group, the workshops will focus on areas of “shared research interest”, such as environmental management and air and water pollution, areas in which Scottish universities excel. The academics will also lead discussions on agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and geology during the week-long trip to Sao Paolo, Recife and Belo Horizonte.
There are already strong links between further education institutes in Scotland and Brazil, with the University of Edinburgh opening an office in Sao Paolo in 2013.
There are also significant numbers of Brazilian students at the University of Dundee, Glasgow Caledonian University and the Herriot Watt University in Edinburgh. This is partly due to the Science without Borders (SwB) campaign, through which 1,263 Brazilians received a scholarship to study in Scotland.
The visit could lead to Scottish higher education bodies receiving more funding from the UK government through the Newton Fund. The fund worth £75 million is aimed at assisting research collaborations on development topics with countries such as Brazil.
The delegation will also visit government ministries and funding bodies, with the aim of establishing a framework between funding councils which could open the door for fee-waivers allowing more Scottish students to study in Brazil and vice-versa.
Director at Universities Scotland, Alastair Sim, said: “The great level of enthusiasm from the Scottish and Brazilian universities engaging on this mission means there is huge potential here to form new and enduring partnerships.
“In a globally competitive higher education marketplace, these missions are incredibly important as they give us valuable opportunities to showcase our research strengths to potential partners and show we are ready and willing to engage on future projects.”
Launched last year, the Connected Scotland group also hopes to develop relationships with universities in China, Mexico, Columbia and Malaysia.