nexBio Amazônia Open call 2024

Apply now and discover how your startup can be the game-changer for sustainable and efficient solutions in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

Swiss-Brazilian Sustainable Innovation Program for the Bioeconomy

Swissnex in Brazil, together with the St.Gallen Institute of Management in Latin America (GIMLA-HSG), the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), the Amazon Foundation for Research and Studies of the state of Pará (FAPESPA), and with the support of the Social Service of Commerce (SESC) are pleased to announce the first edition of the Swiss-Brazilian Open Innovation Program for the Bioeconomy, nexBio Amazônia.

nexBio Amazônia aims to bring together Swiss and Brazilian startups to work in areas of the Amazon bioeconomy. The main objective is to initiate sustainable, short-term, easy, and quick-to-implement technological solutions that improve the sustainability and efficiency of existing production chains.

Starting 22 July and ending 2 August, the program will cover all costs for Swiss and Brazilian technology-based startups with the potential to profit from revolutionizing sustainable supply chains of local high-value forest products.

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Participate in the nexBio Amazônia Program and count on Swissnex in Brazil's support to:

The nexBio Amazônia program is designed to substantially accelerate the implementation process of sustainable technologies and, therefore offers:

  • Targeted introductions and matchmaking with relevant customers, investors, and business partners as well as local stakeholders from industry, academia, government, and civil society
  • Immersion in the local innovation ecosystem and culture through workshops, mentoring, and networking events
  • Guided field trips to local production sites in the Amazon rainforest
  • Connection with complementing local and international startup programs, accelerators, and funding mechanisms to guarantee the continuation of the product implementation
  • Internationalization counseling, market intelligence, and scouting services
  • Support for development and testing of service and business model
  • Logistic and administrative support

The costs for travel and accommodation, as well as for on-site trips, transportation, events, and meals, will be fully covered by the program partners. The nexBio Amazônia program will take place in the Brazilian state of Pará during a period of two weeks, from Monday, July 22, 2024, to Friday, August 02, 2024.

Focus areas:

The startups must contribute to developing ready-to-market solutions for products, technology-based services, or methods with significant market potential to bring sustainable change to existing production chains in the Amazon.

The focus areas allow for a wide range of technical solutions that are prominent in Switzerland: Big Data, Automation, AI, Blockchain, Food Technology, Sensors & Hardware, Software, Carbon Solutions, Synthetic Biology & Biomimicry, Nanobiotechnology, Clean Energy Solutions, New Materials, Automation, etc.

The nexBio Amazônia program remains open for various types of applications and places importance on the transferability of technologies across industries. However, after careful consultation with local experts and stakeholders, the program will initially prioritize and direct innovative technologies toward the following industries that have a particularly high potential and urgent need for innovative solutions:

  • Cacao & Cupuaçu (Amazonian edible fruit)
  • Essential Oils
  • Fishing Industry
  • Other non-timber forest products (fruits, medical plants, etc.)

During the co-creation workshop with local stakeholders of the Amazon region from academia, industry, government, and civil society, the need for the following solutions was especially highlighted:

  • Supply Chain Optimization & Automation
  • Quality Assurance Technologies & Traceability
  • Information and Communication Technologies & Management
  • Community Empowerment & Social Innovation

Whereas all sustainable solutions applicable to the local context of the Amazon region are eligible, startups with innovations in the fields determined by the local stakeholders will be preferred.

Eligibility:

All applications must meet the following eligibility criteria to be qualified for evaluation:

  • The startup must demonstrate a strong case for how their solution will contribute to the sustainable development of the local economy and ecosystem
  • The project must be aligned with and strive for the SDGs
  • The company must be registered in Switzerland or Brazil. The founder or team member can apply to this call regardless of nationality.
  • The startup has a ready-to-market solution that, with the right partners, can be implemented in the short term (minimum TRL 5, Ideal TRL 7 or higher)
  • The solution should be a science-based innovation that adds value to bilateral cooperation in both countries.

Only fully filled proposals meeting all eligibility criteria will be considered for evaluation.

Application:

Applications shall be submitted in electronic format only through the online application form by midnight on Monday, March 11, 2024. Please submit the complete application on the Swissnex website according to the instructions.

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The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the formal requirements are fulfilled and that the content is accurate and complete. Otherwise, the application cannot be considered. All information provided in the administrative part and all uploaded documents must be written in English.

Evaluation and Selection

The eligible applications will be evaluated by Swissnex in Brazil and the nexBio Amazônia program partners, who will select up to 10 startups from Switzerland and up to 10 startups from Brazil. The principal guiding criteria is the application’s alignment with the call’s purpose.

To ensure the match of the technological solutions with the local challenges and context of the Amazon region, the evaluation process will be conducted with the consultation of local experts from academia, industry, government, and civil society.

Pre-selected applicants will be invited for an online interview where they will pitch their startup (3 minutes), followed by a Q&A (3 minutes). If accepted, the participants will be asked to sign a commitment form and will be required to write a 5-page final report after the program is finished.

Full timeline HERE.

Partners

The program is being built in collaboration with some of Brazil’s most influential institutions and prepares a path for Swiss and Brazilian technologies toward the region’s decision-making institutions up until the local farms. The program is aligned with governmental and private sector initiatives and monetary incentives that strive towards a more sustainable circular bioeconomy.