The BIONORTE Network brings together institutions from the Legal Amazon, in order to accelerate the training of human resources and integrate skills for the development of research and innovation projects. These projects focus on biodiversity and biotechnology and aim to generate knowledge, processes, and products that contribute to the sustainable development of the Legal Amazon. The network was instituted under the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation in collaboration with the State Secretaries for Science and Technology (SECTs) from the nine states of the Legal Amazon by MCTI degree (no. 901 of 12.04.2008).

Network environment characterization

The BIONORTE Network was instituted to work on two fronts: (1) expanding our knowledge of the biodiversity of the Amazon by developing biotechnological processes and products, and (2) training individuals to create human resources for the sustainable development of the Legal Amazon.

The first action of the Network launched a public call for projects by CNPq (the Edital MCT/CNPq/FNDCT-AÇÃO TRANSVERSAL/CT-AMAZÔNIA/CT-BIOTEC/BIONORTE – no. 66/2009) contemplating three lines of research: (1) knowledge of the Amazon’s biodiversity, (2) conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and (3) bioprospecting and development of bioproducts and bioprocesses. It has approved 19 projects involving the nine states of the Legal Amazon.

For the formation of human resources, a postgraduate program at the PhD level was created with the participation of institutions from all states of the Legal Amazon, whose proposal application was submitted to CAPES on 07/02/2010.

Research Lines

Three research lines were defined for the BIONORTE Network: (1) knowledge of the Amazon’s biodiversity, (2) conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and (3) bioprospecting and development of bioproducts and bioprocesses, according to the following specifications:

  1. Knowledge of the Amazon’s biodiversity:
    • Inventory of the flora, fauna, and microbiota of the Brazilian Amazon;
    • Taxonomy, collections, geographic distribution, and ecological niches;
    • Ethnobiology.
    Expected results:
    • Knowledge of flora, fauna, and microbiota;
    • Properly cataloged, computerized, and preserved collections;
    • Traditional knowledge is rescued and valued.
  2. Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity:
    • Maintenance and characterization of germplasm banks;
    • Domestication of species;
    • Genetic improvement;
    • Population management;
    • Cultivation systems.
    Expected results:
    • Germplasm banks with genetic diversity;
    • Known population dynamics;
    • Rational cultivation and production processes of native and established acclimatized species;
    • Greater availability and diversity of species of economic value;
    • Established sustainable management procedures.
  3. Bioprospecting and development of bioproducts and bioprocesses:
    • Production of extracts and essential oils;
    • Development of bioassays;
    • Identification and characterization of active principles;
    • Bioinformatics;
    • Development of bioproducts and bioprocesses;
    • Process scheduling;
    • Innovation management.
    Expected results:
    • Greater availability and diversity of bioproducts of economic value;
    • Strengthening of the bio-industry through cooperation with educational and research institutions;
    • Consolidation of regional development based on the use of biodiversity;
    • Human improvement and generation of jobs and income in the area of biotechnology.
  4. Guidelines

    The Biodiversity and Biotechnology Network of the Legal Amazon presents the following guidelines:

    • Support research in biotechnology and biodiversity in the Legal Amazon;
    • Consolidate and integrate research groups in the region;
    • Establish and contribute to the maintenance of reference laboratories;
    • Contribute to the improvement and maintenance of biological collections;
    • Train, attract, and establish PhDs in the region;
    • Strengthen and contribute to the consolidation of graduate programs;
    • Institute a multi-institutional and interdisciplinary doctoral program;
    • Promote the interaction of ICTs with the regional bio-industry;
    • Contribute to the social, cultural, economic, and environmental development of the region.