Request for Innovation Fund Grant Proposals

Supported by SENAI and the U.S. Department of State

Issuance Date: October 9, 2018

Question/Answer Period: October 9, 2018 – February 15, 2019

Submit at

Closing Date/Time: February 15, 2019

Subject: Request for Proposals for the Brazil-U.S. Competition for Innovation and Technological Development

Dear Applicants,

Partners of the Americas (Partners), the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and NAFSA: Association of International Educators (NAFSA) announce a new Innovation Fund grant competition to create higher education institutional partnerships between Brazil and the United States.

The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is the public-private sector collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassies, Partners of the Americas, NAFSA, corporations, and foundations working together to stimulate new higher education partnerships between the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere. The central mechanism to support this hemispheric-wide education initiative is the Innovation Fund, which builds bridges of connectivity, enhances institutional capacity, increases student exchanges, and strengthens regional education cooperation throughout the Americas.

Since its inception in January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 178 grants to more than 350 teams of universities and colleges in 25 countries and 41 U.S. states. Higher education institutions in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Chile are currently the top six countries in the region to engage with the Innovation Fund in partnerships with U.S. universities and colleges.

Innovation Fund grant winning institutions provide students with access to short-term exchange and training opportunities in the United States, Latin America, and Caribbean. Students gain technical, linguistic, and cross-cultural skills, work in teams, conduct research, solve real-world problems, and become better prepared for today’s workforce. Currently, over 1,800 higher education institutions have joined the Innovation Network, with 1,000 universities and colleges located in the United States.

For more information about current partner organizations that support the Innovation Fund and grant winning teams, please visit:

The Brazil-U.S. Competition for Innovation & Technological Development is supported through generous contributions from the National Service of Industrial Training (SENAI) and the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Embassy in Brazil.

SENAI was founded in1942 as a private non-profit institution. It provides technical education aimed at promoting industrial innovation. Its mission is centered on technology transfer, leveraging innovation for promoting industrial innovation. As the largest private technical training network in Latin America, SENAI seeks to add value to products and processes of private sector companies and industries. Currently, SENAI has 993 vocational training units, 26 innovation institutes, 58 technology institutes, and 189 technological services labs. In 2017, more SENAI had more than 2.3 million enrollments at national level, and SENAI Institutes were responsible for more than 1.3 million lab tests and services. For more information about SENAI, visit

This Innovation Fund competition is open to all higher education institutions (HEIs) in the United States, and all SENAI Innovation Institutes and educational institutions in Brazil.

NOTE: Grant proposals must include a partnership between at least one HEI in the United States (e.g., universities, colleges, community colleges, etc.) and one SENAI Innovation Institute; but may also present a tripartite alliance between a U.S. HEI, a SENAI Innovation Institute and a Brazilian educational institution (e.g., universities and other post-secondary institutions with credit-bearing programs).

Proposals should focus on creating new student exchange and training opportunities between the U.S. and Brazil in the following academic areas with an emphasis on their focus areas:

  • Information Communications and Technology (ICT), focus on smart technology and the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Civil Engineering, focus on structures and/or mining
  • Chemical Engineering, focus on advanced materials and/or metallurgy
  • Electrical Engineering, focus on computers and electronics
  • Mechanical Engineering, as it relates to smart products
  • Biology, Chemistry, and Economics, as it relates to bio-economics

Special consideration will be given to proposals that include programming to:

  • Incorporate entrepreneurship skills and training; and/or
  • Promote women in science careers.

The intent of the Brazil-U.S. Competition for Innovation & Technological Development is to award up to eight (8) Innovation Fund Grants of up to $25,000 to selected finalized proposals.

The Department of State, Partners of the Americas, NAFSA, and SENAI reserve the right to fund any or none of the Innovation Fund grant proposals submitted for consideration. Please refer to the following sections for a complete statement of goals and expected results.

For more information, please read the full Request for Innovation Fund Grant Proposals.