Technology Cities of Brazil
As the metropolitan areas of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro reach levels of saturation, the Brazilian industry has been relocating to other areas. In this article we will specifically cover the cities of Campinas, Florianópolis and Porto Alegre.
Twenty five years ago, Campinas was only a small city in the countryside of São Paulo state. Located 100km away of São Paulo city, Campinas today shares the same infrastructure level observed in cities like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Its metropolitan area is composed by 19 municipalities, representing 2,7% of the national GDP.
Campinas is one of the most attractive regions in Brazil (especially those related to IT, engineering and electronics) due to its efficient road network and airport infrastructure, qualified workforce and proximity to suppliers, universities and research centers. Also, the quality of life is higher than the one observed in major urban centers.
Several important companies in Brazil have left major cities metropolitan areas and are now concentrated in Campinas area, being some of them:
- Tetra Pak
- HP – Hewlett Packard
Known as the Brazilian Silicon Valley, Campinas founded two industrial parks: CIATEC I and II, which are industrial areas established in the surroundings of UNICAMP, a prestigious state university located in Campinas and figuring among the best universities in Latin America.
CIATEC I is an 800.000sqm area with infrastructure for the implementation of technological plants. It is where companies like Airliquid and Comaq are situated. CIATEC II is strategically located between UNICAMP and PUCCAMP, the two main universities in the area. Its area is of 8.000.000 sqm and it has an integrated occupation planning, giving priorities to:
- Business and commerce
- Technology, science and knowledge
- Environment preservation
- Hotel and convention center
Some of the companies already established in CIATEC II are CI&T software, Northern Telecom, Softex, Eldorado research institute, Telebrás Research and Development Center, and the National Synchrotron Light Laboratory.
At the same time CIATEC is the major responsible for the importance of Campinas metropolitan area to the national economic scenario, it is beginning to face saturation problems already. According to the prefecture of Campinas, CIATEC has no capacity to house any more companies dedicated do innovation, science and technology.
There is a project to the implementation of a new park, CIATEC III, but this is still under discussion by the members of the prefecture. This is an important decision regarding the economic future of the area, as this saturation may lead to a decrease in investments.
Besides its strategic localization and the presence of prestigious universities that generate qualified workforce, Campinas also offers fiscal incentives for companies that want to establish in the city. They are:
- Reduction in the ISSQN Tax rate (Tax on Services) down to 2%;
- Reduction from 30% to 50% in the amount of the IPTU tax
- Reduction of 50% in the amount of the ITBI tax (Tax on inter vivos Good Transfers)
- Exemption from Fees and Emoluments
Capital of the southern state of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis has always been known for its touristic cities and for the strong preservation of European values and culture. Added to this historical definition of the city, nowadays it is also known by its important role on the economy of southern Brazil.
Its metropolitan area is composed by 22 municipalities and has the higher HDI of all Brazilian metropolitan areas. Many professionals from major economic centers have traded a higher salary for a better quality of life in Florianópolis area.
Santa Catarina has got six main industrial complexes distributed throughout the state. Here you find them according to the sector, region and participation on the state's exports:
- Agribusiness (food and drink): concentrated in cities like Chapecó, Concórdia and Videira. It is composed of 2.970 companies, 76 thousand employees and is responsible for 38% of the state's export.
- Electro-metal-mechanical: concentrated in Joiville and Jaraguá do Sul, it has 4.548 companies and 86 thousand employees, being responsible for 23,5 % of the state's exports.
- Textile (clothing, shoes and textile handcrafts): concentrated in Blumenau and Brusque, it has 6.444 companies and employs 124.000 people, but responsible for only 6,7% of the state's exports.
- Lumber (furniture, wood, paper and cellulose): concentrated in Lages, São Bento do Sul and Mafra, it has 5.532 companies, 99.000 employees and is responsible for 21% of the state's exports.
- Mineral (mining industry and non-metallic products): concentrated in Criciúma, Tubarão and Urussanga, it has 2.141 companies and employs 32 thousand people, being responsible for 4,6% of the state's exports.
- Technology: concentrated in Blumenau, Florianópolis and Joinville, it has got 1500 companies 13 thousand employees.
It is estimated that every year, 40 IT companies are opened or migrate to Florianópolis. This growth of the IT and communication sector in the city has encouraged the creation of condominiums to house these companies. The association of technology companies of Santa Catarina (ACATE) is specialized in the development and commercialization of hardware, software and services for different areas, being among them:
- Banks and financial institutions
- Engineering and building
- Electric and electronic equipment
- Electronic government
- Hardware and networks infrastructure
- Internet and services
- Information security
- Online businesses
- Outsourcing software
Over the past twenty years, two technological parks and seven incubators were created in the city of Florianópolis. Besides serving as an incentive to companies working with technology, these ventures have been responsible for the growth of the technological sector in the city.
Besides the incentive of space and infrastructure itself, there is also the incentive of tax exemption, as companies working with technology are exempted of paying ISS and IPTU.
Porto Alegre is the capital of Rio Grande do Sul state and has got almost 4 million people, concentrating 36% of the state's population. Its metropolitan area is composed of 32 municipalities and its GDP was of BRL 87 billion in 2008.
Currently, the state of Rio Grande do Sul has got 14 technological parks, most of them related to universities and only one located in Porto Alegre: the Scientific and Technological Park of UFRGS, which is the federal university present in the city. Relatively new (created in 2010), it offers space and other instruments inherent to a technological park, allowing the establishment of research laboratories and the development of technology based institutions within the university campus.
Besides Porto Alegre, Eldorado do Sul also plays an important role in the technological profile of the state. It houses the Brazilian factory of Dell, the computer and software manufacturer. Guaíba, a small city housing ThyssenKrupp and a major distribution center for Toyota is also an important player.
Back in 2009, the state government created Programa Pró-inovação, a program designed to estimulate technological innovation and research in the state. Among the benefits of the program, are:
- Financial support from state entities and organizations
- Financial support through funding policies
- Concession of space and proper infrastructure, such as laboratories, equipments and instruments
- Tax exemption or financial incentives for projects related to universities located in the state, being them public or private
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