Brazilian government launches first IoT research center

The facility is expected to stimulate interactions between the government, universities, industry, citizens and the environment.

The Brazilian government has launched a new technology development center focusing on the Internet of Things (IoT) approach, robotics, and 5G.

According to the Ministry for Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), the center is the first government research facility to employ the quintuple innovation helix framework, which describes university-industry-government-public-environment interactions within a knowledge economy.

The center, located in Sorocaba (103 miles from São Paulo), is expected to generate new jobs and skilled professionals in the so-called "4.0 technologies" and technology application in various sectors and product manufacturing.

The facility's activities, managed in partnership with the Sorocaba city government, will follow the priorities set out in the national strategy for the Internet of Things and the national strategy for digital transformation.

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One of the centre's first initiatives is a project focused on 5G that can be replicated by large, medium and small organizations, as well as universities, technical schools, and other organizations. The center will use a digital model to share the outcomes of the various projects.

Brazil's National IoT Plan was announced as one of the country's Digital Transformation Strategy pillars, created in March 2018. The strategy, delivered in June 2019, provides a mechanism for strengthening the IoT's national innovation ecosystem and development.

The four core verticals of Brazil's IoT plan are Smart Cities, Healthcare, Agribusiness and Manufacturing. The plan was preceded by a study funded by BNDES and carried out by a consortium led by consulting firm McKinsey. According to the research, IoT-related businesses could bring up to $200 million to the Brazilian economy by 2025.

Other recent developments in the IoT front in Brazil include launching a $45 million venture capital fund in May, focused on early-stage investments in companies active in the Internet of Things (IoT) and connectivity space. The vehicle, launched by the Brazilian Development Fund and Qualcomm Ventures and managed by Indicator Capital, is the first of its kind in Latin America. It will support up to 30 startups in Series A rounds over the next 10 years, and it expects to close 7 deals in 2021.