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Partnership agreement

Multiplied effort

FAPESP-Padtec agreement to mobilize researchers in order to improve optical communication systems

MIGUEL BOYAYANFAPESP and Padtec, one of the largest Brazilian manufacturers of optical communication systems, are entering into a scientific cooperation agreement. The aim is to establish research projects involving researchers from São Paulo state institutions and from the company, whose headquarters are in the city of Campinas, which was a spin off from the Center for Telecommunications Research and Development (CPqD), the technological branch of Telebrás. The funding for the proposals selected will amount to R$ 40 million, of which R$ 20 million will be disbursed by FAPESP and the other R$ 20 million by Padtec. A committee comprised of two representatives from FAPESP and two from Padtec will prepare the calls for projects. The partnership agreement will last for five years.

According to FAPESP’s scientific director, Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, the agreement is part of a broader FAPESP initiative designed to organize cooperative programs with universities, research institutions and companies in a manner more interesting to the  State of São Paulo academic community. “Padtec really needs advanced research into optical communications in order to develop systems, devices and software programs. The company is already highly active in research, which made cooperation with FAPESP even easier”, he stated. “The agreement is ambitious and provides for terms and investments which make very sophisticated research possible”, said Brito Cruz. FAPESP’s interest in developing advanced optical communications has already been seen in several programs, in particular the one on Information Technology and Advanced Internet Development (Tidia) and the Optical Research Platform for the Development of Advanced Internet (Kyaterra).

Padtec strives to develop technologies and solutions connected to optical networks that enable the launch of new products or that make its current portfolio more competitive. The company is the Brazilian market leader in advanced optical fiber transmission systems based on DWDM/CWDM (Dense/Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing) technology. This consists of transmitting multiple optical channels in a single fiber, thus expanding the transport capacity of telecommunication systems. One of the main themes that are bound to be the subject of calls for research proposals is the development of new technologies and solutions for optical communication systems based on DWDM technology for long-distance and metropolitan network applications. DWDM provides feasibility for data traffic at terabyte rates (above one thousand gigabyte) per second. Other themes may also be included, depending on the committee’s decision.

“We have worked for quite some time with several institutions financing R&S. Thanks to this agreement, we will manage to multiply the effort to develop and perfect technologies that ensure our competitiveness”, says Jorge Salomão, an electronic engineer and Padtec president. The company is based in the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), and its main executives are graduates of this institution. Jorge Salomão Pereira, Padtec’s president, an electrical engineering graduate, got his Master’s degree in 1990 and his Doctorate in 1994, all from Unicamp. José Tadeu de Jesus, industrial director, has a Master’s Degree in physics, also from Unicamp. Padtec is included in Unicamp’s list of the more than 140 “daughter companies” registered with Inova Unicamp, the university’s innovation agency. “Unicamp is a center of optical communications excellence, but there are researchers who graduated from this university scattered across other institutions; they will be able to join the agreement and multiply this research effort”, said Salomão.