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Technology park in the state of Bahia

CRIS CASTELLO BRANCOThe first phase of the Bahia Technology Park in Salvador, state of Bahia, was inaugurated September 19, 2012. The initiative seeks to bring together, at a single site, businesses and research and development institutions, thus making the state a technology reference point. This is part of an effort to shift the state’s previous economic emphasis away from agro-exports. The new building, baptized ‘Technocenter,’ cost R$ 53 million and is the home to companies like IBM, Portugal Telecom and Ericsson Innovation, in addition to facilities for the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) and Bahia State University (Uneb). The State University of Campinas (Unicamp) signed an agreement with the Department of Science, Technology and Development to establish a bioinformatics unit there whose equipment is currently being purchased.  “Our intention is to create a group that will support initiatives in the area of molecular biology,” says Gonçalo Amarante Guimarães, professor of the Institute of Biology and researcher at the Laboratory of Genomics and Expression (LGE) at Unicamp, who leads the partnership.  Guimarães is a graduate of UFBA. The technology park will occupy an area of 581,000 m2 and is divided into 83 lots, 22 of which are public and the other 61 private.  It is already home to 25 companies, of which nine are incubators and 16 are established businesses. The second phase, which includes construction of laboratory infrastructure, a school for scientific initiation, and a museum is expected to be completed by December 2014, with investments totaling R$ 59 million.