Last updated: 31 March 2015
Established and new clusters of research and development indicate the potential for Brazil to turn into one of the main grounds for technology innovation in the world. In this article we will list some of the most notable technopoles in Brazil.
Research and Development in Brazil
Though not precisely regarded as a lead player in technology research and development, Brazil has an undeniable history in innovation. This is the country, for example, where major breakthroughs in the fields of agriculture, biofuels, medicine and computing were achieved, which in most part, can be accredited to the prestigious universities and institutions from wealthy states of the Southwest and South regions.
The country’s present scenario sees the national, state and municipalities governments investing heavily in the creation of research and development clusters, or technopoles, due to the high profitability these initiatives can provide in the long run. This means the concentration of technological development towards the Southern regions might be unleashed, with new locations providing the necessary conditions for the creation of major clusters in the country.
As of today, the main technopoles can be found in states like São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul, containing the most advanced research centers and breeding grounds for innovative companies across the Brazilian territory.
The city of Campinas, located to the Northwest of state capital São Paulo, is regarded as the Brazilian Silicon Valley due to the large concentration of technology development institutes and companies in this region.
Unicamp, one of the most prestigious universities in Brazil, is particularly responsible for this reputation, offering some of the highest rated courses in the fields of engineering, applied physics and computer science. Not only have its students established a number of successful technology development companies, which is the case of CI&T and Padtech, but have also created a number of programs to promote the development of local startups. The city of Campinas also houses renowned universities Facamp and PUCCAMP, both of which contribute to the offering of qualified workforce to local organizations.
Some of the most notable institutions located in the Campinas area include the Center of Research and Development in Telecommunications, or CPqD, one of the most prestigious developers of telecommunication technology in Brazil. Another notable institution is Ciatec, or the Campinas High Technology Pole Development Company, an organization led by the municipality government devoted to fostering the installation and growth of high technology companies.
The financial incentives provided by the city government are also largely responsible for the installation of the number of technology development enterprises in this area. Companies in the fields of computing, research & development, biotechnology, electronics, mechanics and telecommunications are granted significant exemptions of taxes such as IPTU, ISS and ITBI. Campinas was the first city in Brazil to provide tax incentives to startups, as of November 2014, offering reduction of IPTU and ISS taxes to these initiatives.
The capital of the Northeastern state of Pernambuco became one of the main clusters of technology companies in Brazil following the introduction of a program known as Porto Digital, or Portuguese for digital port, by the state government in the year 2000.
The Porto Digital initiative refers to a number of tax benefits offered to companies in the fields of information technology, software, telecommunications and creative industry to be installed in the historic neighbourhoods of Recife Antigo and Santo Amaro. The program also foresaw the investment in a number of research institutes dedicated to technological development in that area, the most notable of which is C.E.S.A.R., or the Recife Center of Studies and Advanced Systems.
Technology companies that benefited from Porto Digital are mostly micro and small sized, although some of the largest technology companies in the world, including Microsoft, established affiliates in Recife. This was due to the tax incentives and high quantity of skilled workforce available, which originated from the University of Pernambuco and Center of Informatics, both located in the city area.
Located in the State of São Paulo, the city of São Carlos has been awarded with the title of technology capital of Brazil due to the extraordinary number of R&D institutions in this area. The main ones are universities USP São Carlos, UFSCar and UNICEP, which boast some of the most renowned departments in the fields of engineering, agriculture and biotechnology, computation and physics in Brazil.
Some of the main technology development institutions in the city include the research centers of Embrapa, the Brazilian Corporation of Agricultural Research and ParqTec, a technological park that incubates new companies.
The Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, located in state capital Porto Alegre, contains one of the most important technological parks in Brazil, known as Tecnopuc. With 18.000 square meters, the R&D cluster agglomerates initiatives in the fields of ITC, environment technology and creative industry.
The technology parks offers a link between academic research and private enterprises by including a number of incubators, advanced laboratories, innovation and entrepreneurial centers, and fundraising agencies.
São José dos Campos
The city of São José dos Campos, in the state of São Paulo, is regarded as the main center for the development of aeronautical technology in Brazil, containing the renowned Aeroespacial Technical Center, or CTA, and the Institute of Aviation Technology, known as ITA.
The city also houses development centers in the fields of health, environment technologies and communications and a technological park with an area of 36 thousand square meters.
Santa Rita do Sapucaí
The small town of Santa Rita do Sapucaí, in the state of Minas Gerais, is considered one of the main clusters of technological development in the fields of telecommunications and electronics.
Santa Rita do Sapucaí boasts the historic and highly regarded institutions Electronic Technical School, or ETE, the National institute of Telecommunications, or Inatel and the Management and Informatics College, known as FAI, which promote the development of local startups through a series of programs and incentives.
Notable and Developing Technopoles
Some of the most notable current and future technopoles in Brazil include:
- Rio de Janeiro: The University of Rio de Janeiro has over the last few years fostered the creation of a technological park in a 350,000 square meter area that should become one of the most important centers in the development of energy, informatics and environment technologies in the country
- Florianópolis: The capital of Southern state Santa Catarina holds a notable research and incubation cluster tied to the highly regarded UFSC university
- Londrina: Located in the southern state of Paraná, the city recently initiated substantial development and offering of tax exemptions directed to the creation of a technology pole
- Belo Horizonte: State capital of Minas Gerais currently houses one of the main clusters of startups in Brazil, known as San Pedro Valley, and will also host a large technological park linked to the prestigious UFMG university, that is currently under construction
- Curitiba: The capital of Paraná state created a technological park that offered tax exemption to companies that promoted R&D and recently expanded the incentive to entire city