IBM set to open Brazil research lab

The facility is set to be Big Blue's first research lab in Latin America and its first new research lab in a dozen years.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried
2 min read
Sergio Rezende, Brazil's science and technology minister, was in San Francisco last month as part of an effort to talk up the country's technology efforts. Ina Fried/CNET

IBM plans to announce on Tuesday the opening of a new research facility in Brazil, the first new IBM Research lab in a dozen years.

The facility--IBM's first in South America--will begin by putting researchers at existing IBM facilities in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, with plans to have more than 100 researchers in place within the next few years.

"Brazil's abundance of natural resources and technical talent presents unique research opportunities and the ability to deploy them to solve increasingly important problems," IBM Senior Vice President John E. Kelly said in a statement. "The new lab also gives IBM scientists the opportunity to extend their collaboration with universities, government organizations, and companies in Brazil and across Latin America."

The move is a boost to the government of Brazil, which has been actively courting additional outside investment, particularly from U.S. tech companies.

Click on the graphic above to read CNET's 2008 special report on the Brazilian technology industry.

"The choice of Brazil for the installation of the lab is a demonstration that our medium- and long-term perspectives are very promising, as a result of a coordinated effort which has allowed us to reach a big economic and institutional solidity," Miguel Jorge, Brazil's minister of development, industry, and foreign commerce, said in a statement.

Brazil has emerged as a huge market for technology but has found it rougher going, as it looks to also become a leader in the creation of technology products.

"Brazil was seen as just a market, not a place to develop, to invest," Brazil's science and technology minister, Sergio Rezende, told CNET last month. "The change in this pattern is occurring very, very slowly."

IBM said the new lab will focus on areas including smarter discovery and exploration of natural resources, and the management of large-scale events, which will come in handy as Brazil prepares to host soccer's World Cup in 2014 and the summer Olympics in 2016.