Nokia seeks IoT startups in Brazil

The company wants to foster ventures created by graduates through its global innovation challenge.

Nokia is on the lookout for Brazilian startups developing offerings based on the Internet of Things (IoT) approach for a global acceleration initiative.

The sixth edition of the Nokia Open Innovation Challenge, in partnership with NGP Capital, wants to attract ventures focused on new products and services within the industrial IoT domain.

According to the company's marketing director for Latin America, Diana Coll, one of the local aims of the project is to foster the high volume of Brazilian startups created by students or recent graduates.

"We want to support the longevity of these ventures. For this edition we opted for a focus on solutions, systems, platforms and applications that generate efficiency and intelligence on the realm of industrial automation - and we have a significant contribution to make to the Brazilian manufacturing sector," Coll said.

Overall, the Nokia Open Innovation Challenge will see the company's experts and mentors supporting the ventures, who will be collaborating with researchers to enhance or create the first commercial implementation of their offerings.

Additionally, finalists of the global program will receive $175,000 in financial support, as well as getting access to Nokia's research and development facilities for the duration of the program.

According to Nokia, the ultimate goal of the initiative is to "find a company which could potentially be a partner for joint innovative solutions."

Ventures can apply to take part in the project until September 6. The selected startups will be announced in December and will present their projects at Nokia Bell's Lab in New Jersey.

Back in 2015, Nokia started to express interest in exploiting opportunities within IoT in Brazil. It signed an agreement with local mobile operator Oi around the development of products and services in the field.

Under the partnership, a joint pool of resources would be invested in areas such as agribusiness, connected cars and e-health, as well as smart housing and cities. Contacted by ZDNet, Nokia could not provide an update on the progress of the IoT initiative in Brazil since its launch.

The Brazilian government launched the country's strategy for Internet of Things earlier this year, with an initial focus on the core verticals of smart cities, healthcare, agribusiness and manufacturing.