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Science, R&D

A world leader in scientific research on cosmetics, University of São Paulo strengthens its ties to the private sector to boost innovation

Professor Doctor Patrícia Maia Campos, founder of the University’s Center for Advanced Studies in Cosmetic Technology, believes being awarded the first place in the State of Innovation 2016 report will attract new funding for cosmetics research.

It is commonplace knowledge that Brazil is one of the world’s largest cosmetics markets, but the fact that it has a public institution leading research in the field might come as news to many people. The University of Sao Paulo (USP) has recently ranked first in State of Innovation 2016, a report conducted by Thomson Reuters on research and innovation, beating big names such as the American Food and Drug Administration, beauty multinational Procter & Gamble, and Harvard University.

USP's Ribeirão Preto campus, where NEATEC is based

USP’s Ribeirão Preto campus, where NEATEC is based

The study analyzes global intellectual property data as a leading indicator of innovation across 12 technology areas, including home appliances, medical devices, telecommunications and biotechnology. The 2016 edition looked up patents and published papers between 2005 and 2015. In the cosmetics and wellbeing category, USP has beat FDA by a large margin, having published 177 papers versus 108 of the American regulatory body.

USP’s achievement is highly relevant as it shows the commitment of the University’s body of research. This recognition will certainly grant us further support and funding to remain in this position,” says Prof. Dr. Patrícia Maia Campos, who has worked in research and development of cosmetics for over 20 years.

In 1998, she founded USP’s Center for Advanced Studies in Cosmetic Technology (NEATEC), within the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, in the Ribeirão Preto campus. Ever since its inception, NEATEC has published most of the articles and patents in the beauty field. “Our first challenge was having cosmetics recognized as a pharmaceutical science within the University to secure the infrastructure and support required to start working on cutting-edge research,” says Campos.

Today, the center leads a wide array of projects in cosmetology, ranging from developing new formulations for skin and hair care products to testing their efficacy using non-invasive biophysical techniques. NEATEC often collaborates with privately owned cosmetics companies and issues scientific alerts to health committees, as well as being involved in the education of masters and doctors in this field of study.

Campos says that the support of funding institutions such as the São Paulo Research Support Foundation (FAPESP) and partnerships with the private sector were vital to the University’s performance in State of Innovation 2016. “In order for USP to maintain its excellence in the cosmetics area and leverage the results achieved in the last decade, it is important to align research to the needs of the private sector. Building partnerships with companies is the fast lane to innovation,” she says.

A quick look at the current line up of studies in her department provides a glimpse into the industry’s future. Campos hints at further use of nanotechnology in photoprotection products, the development of multifunctional dermocosmetics and studies that dig deep into the way certain active ingredients provide their cosmetic benefits.

Renata Martins


© 2016 - Brazil Beauty News -

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