Rangarajan interested in the economic impact of the results of RCGI’s projects, many of which involve disruptive technologies

The Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Brazil, Vijay Rangarajan, visited the o FAPESP Shell Research Centre for Gas Innovation (RCGI), on the 12th, as well as the Brasiliana Guita and José Mindlin Library, both of which are located in the University of São Paulo (USP). Rangarajan came at the invitation of Professor Jacques Marcovitch, of the School of Economics, Administration, and Accounting (FEA/USP) and was accompanied by the economic advisor to the British Consulate in São Paulo, Brazil, Raquel Borges de Sá.

At RCGI, the Ambassador was welcomed by Professor Julio Meneghini, the Centre’s Director, who presented the work and the ongoing research projects at the RCGI. “I already knew a little about the subjects being dealt with by the RCGI research team. But I was impressed by the level of details of the projects in Professor Julio’s presentation,” stated the Ambassador, saying that he had previously talked with British companies, including Shell (Anglo-Dutch), regarding the research performed by RCGI. During his visit, the Ambassador showed an interest in the economic impact of the results of RCGI’s projects, many of which involve disruptive technologies.

The encounter was attended by several RCGI members: researchers Edmilson Moutinho, Virginia Parente, Emílio Silva, Cláudio Oller, and Dominique Mouette, besides the Director of Publicity of Knowledge and Communication, Gustavo Assi; and the Director of Human Resources and Administration, Karen Mascarenhas. Also in attendance were Rob Littel and Tiago Vicente, respectively, the General Manager of Gas Separation and Head of the International Relations Office of Shell; the Director of the Brasiliana Guita and José Mindlin Library, Carlos Alberto Zeron; and Professor Jacques Marcovitch.

From left to right: Jacques Marcovitch, Raquel Borges de Sá, Vijay Rangarajan, Julio Meneghini, Rob Littel and Tiago Vicente


Historical record – The work of the RCGI, which involves investments by USP, by the Research Support Fund of the State of São Paulo (FAPESP), and by Shell, plus around one hundred researchers, in close collaboration with foreign institutions, in the opinion of Marcovitch, deserves a historical record. “What we have here is a rare opportunity for an arrangement that includes a Brazilian public university and research institutions from other countries, along with the private sector. Therefore, we must think about who will register this event, and how this knowledge will be spread to other people,” he said. It is something that should be registered and documented so that new generations of researchers know how you worked with this interface between a number of institutions,” he added.

Meneghini feels that the memorials of the projects are relevant issues, which must be thought through in conjunction with Shell and with other partner institutions. Gustavo Assi concurred: “We have to learn from this unique opportunity and pass on ahead the experiences that we have, regarding how the model functions and about what we ourselves have learned along the way,” he said. He also remembered that the RCGI “speaks” to a diverse audience – academe, companies, and the public lay person. And that this is a concern of RCGI’s communication.

The Director of the Brasiliana Guita and José Mindlin Library said that the institution can contribute to the idea of registering the memory of the RCGI projects. “We have the memory and the history of relations between Brazil and other countries around the world, especially Great Britain, whose presence here, in the 19th century, left a tremendous mark,” Zeron said.

After seeing the headquarters and the RCGI projects, the Ambassador and part of the retinue visited the Brasiliana Guita and José Mindlin Library. There, he was also welcomed by three of the four Mindlin children – Diana, Sonia, and Betty Mindlin – and by the Deputy Director of the institution. The Ambassador was presented with several books and took a guided tour of the library, which has more than 60,000 volumes, where a significant portion are rare editions.

Check out the photos of the Ambassador of the United Kingdom visit