Brazil stimulates academia and business link in emerging tech initiative

The TechD program aims to get universities, large companies and startups developing scalable and internationally attractive projects in areas such as healthcare and Internet of Things.

The Brazilian government has launched a tender to find projects based on emerging technologies as the latest stage of a project aimed at bridging the business and academic worlds.

The program, dubbed TechD, is a public-private partnership with funding of 18 million reais ($4.6 million). The latest stage of the program is looking for startups, incubated projects, IT companies or consortiums and research groups focused on emerging technologies to participate.

TechD focuses on projects in areas including artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, Big Data and analytics to address issues within healthcare, energy, mobility and as well as Internet of Things (IoT).

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The international application of the projects will also need to be considered. Proposals can be submitted until May 13, while selected projects will be announced in early July.

The program will support 30 projects, of which 14 will have to be based in the Northeast, North and Central-West regions of the country. São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are based in the South-East.

TechD was launched by Brazil's previous administration in June 2018 to encourage interactions between academia, businesses and the private sector. The strategy is underpinned by a survey that highlighted the four priority areas.

The first stage saw agreements signed with scientific and technological research institutions, research and development centers and universities that will support projects within the thematic lines.

The second phase saw the invitation of medium and large companies interested in testing and financing technologies through open innovation processes projects linked to at least one of the four thematic lines.

The tender is the start of the third and last stage of the program, where startups will be proposing solutions to the demands of the companies backing the initiative that were selected in the second phase.

Strategic partners responsible for carrying out the initiative are the Brazilian Computer Society, the National Association of Entities Promoting Innovative Enterprises (Anprotec) and the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). Corporate backers of the project include Bradesco, Brazil's second largest private bank.