Scientific diplomacy took a giant step forward July 24 as Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Mat Winter officially opened the new Office of Naval Research Global (ONR Global) office in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
ONR Global—charged with providing international science and technology (S&T) solutions for current and future naval challenges—engages with the international S&T community around the world. Officials note the new office in Brazil will be critical to the advancement of open-source, unclassified knowledge and collaboration in a region marked by rapidly-expanding economies and significant growth in cutting-edge science.
“The opening of the Sao Paulo office reflects the strong, longstanding S&T relationships ONR has with the international community,” Winter noted. “This office will serve as a regional hub for collaboration with researchers across South America to share discovery and invention, which are the lifeblood of scientific advancement.”
Present at the event were governmental representatives from both the U.S. and Brazil. Members of the academic community were also in attendance at the official opening celebration—some of whom may be involved in the many future S&T-related exchanges and more that will be sponsored by ONR Global as part of the new office’s mission.
Recent collaborative research between South American and U.S. scientists includes academic gatherings in the fields of alternative energy, underwater acoustics, augmented reality and more, as well as research projects involving topics ranging from flood prediction to materials stress and marine genomics.
The new office will help coordinate activities across the vast South American continent with ONR Global’s existing office in Santiago, Chile.
Capt. Clark Troyer, ONR Global’s commanding officer, noted that the new Brazil hub is expected to deliver significant positive impacts for the future force.
“The opening of a new office in the largest country in South America is an important development, emphasizing that breakthrough science and technology capabilities generally come about only through collaboration and partnerships,” he said. “Those who follow S&T from a naval perspective recognize that Brazil is significant both in its impressive academic and research communities, as well as the wealth of opportunities to conduct research in unique ecological settings.”
ONR Global has offices on multiple continents, including Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Its commanding officer and technical director are based in London. An important part of the command’s collaborative efforts are associate directors, who promote collaboration with international scientists; and science advisors, who identify fleet needs.
Both groups serve as the chief of naval research’s “science ambassadors,” creating essential links with both the international S&T community and operational forces to successfully execute the Naval Science and Technology Strategy.