The Center for Research and Development of Functional Materials (CDFM) is an evolution of the Multidisciplinary Center for the Development of Ceramic Materials (MCDCM), which received FAPESP financial support in the first phase of the RIDC program. At the core of the MCDCM was the ability to synthesize materials with controlled chemical composition, microstructure, and morphology.

Since then, in pace with the accelerated transformations that have already occurred in this century, global needs have changed drastically. Currently, three main concerns are emerging to address those needs: renewable energy, health and the natural environment. During the same period, the materials science community has been engaged with the research and development of functional and nanostructured materials that can be useful for meeting these new societal needs. Therefore, CDFM will use its skill in research and development of functional and nanostructured materials with tailored properties to solve problems related to renewable energy, health and the natural environment.

In terms of innovation and technological transfer, the new RIDC will be directly connected to the basic research program and will act in the following areas: 1) Pilot plants for functional nanoparticles, 2) Development of new applications for functional materials, and 3) Generation of spin-off companies.

Concerning activities related to education and training, a preferred target audience will be high school teachers, to whom the Center will offer extension courses geared to the use of information and communication technology in science education. The Center will also offer teaching strategies aimed at improving teacher performance in the classroom. The conceptual mapping technique, which allows teachers to build and relate concepts, to represent knowledge in a hierarchical way, to share knowledge meaning between teachers and students and to facilitate learning and scientific reasoning, is one of the main tools that we will use. Moreover, it is planned to offer a specialized course in science communication.

Researching in Brazil

Brazil’s best-known scientist, the veteran nuclear physicist  José Goldemberg,  in September 2015 took office as the president of  the São…

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