Brazil seeks investments in space sector, says Brazilian Science Minister

SHARJAH, During his visit to the United Arab Emirates, the Brazilian minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, astronaut Marcos Pontes, is showing his country’s potential in cutting-edge sectors, such as space, and seeking to attract investments in the area to the country. He spoke this Tuesday (19) at the ‘Brazil – UAE Business Seminar on Innovation,’ held by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) in partnership with the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP).

Pontes also visited the park together with an official mission of nine people and was received by the CEO of the SRTIP, Hussain Al Mahmoudi. The seminar took place in the park’s auditorium in Sharjah and had the support of Apex-Brasil and the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MCTI). Over 80 people participated in the on-site event, and part of it was broadcast live on the Ministry’s YouTube channel.

In an interview with ANBA during his visit to Sharjah, Pontes said in addition to opening an exhibition on Brazilian space projects in the Brazil Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, he is prospecting investments for Brazil’s space sector, artificial intelligence, and renewable energies. The SRTIP was launched in November 2020 to attract startups, companies, and technology institutions to settle in the emirate.

“This week is Space Week at Expo, and the ministry is responsible for space policy, so it has this ‘duty’ to prepare the Brazil Pavilion to prospect business. Brazil is currently making great advancements in the space sector compared to the last few decades. In two and a half years, we managed to launch four satellites, one of them entirely national, which was being built, we managed to complete, and it is now fully working in space, Amazônia 1,” the astronaut told ANBA.

The minister stated he is prospecting international partnerships for the Alcântara Space Center. “It is a great opportunity; we have several countries here talking about space, I have already had the opportunity to visit some pavilions [at the Expo] and talk to some coordinators to see if we can bring these partnerships to the Brazilian space program, and that applies to infrastructure, with a launch center, laboratories, development of space systems, space applications area and rockets, and here is a place where we can look for all these partnerships,” he declared.

Other sectors in which the ministry has been seeking international investments are artificial intelligence, renewable energies, and advanced materials such as niobium and graphene. According to Pontes, there are good possibilities for partnerships with the UAE; it is possible to bring Brazilian companies to the Arab country and, at the same time, seek investments in Brazil. “We have a highly attractive market,” he said.

According to the SRTIP CEO, Hussain Al Mahmoudi, there are several opportunities for Brazilian companies and research institutions in the UAE, especially in the park. “Brazil has a great history in technology; we can offer a platform for these technologies and companies to enter the Middle East market,” he told ANBA.

Al Mahmoudi listed opportunities for Brazilian startups and institutions in the space industry, food technology, education, 3D printing, environmental and water technology sectors. “Brazil offers great diversity, it is a great market; open for Middle Eastern companies to invest in the oil, education, and technology sectors. This seminar served to solidify this relationship and open new opportunities for bilateral investments,” he concluded.

In addition to Pontes and Al Mahmoudi, also spoke at the seminar opening the Brazilian ambassador to the UAE, Fernando Igreja; the president of the ABCC, ambassador Osmar Chohfi; and the executive head of operations at the Apex-Brasil office for the Middle East and North Africa, Karen Jones.

Chohfi said the SRTIP building embodies the importance Sharjah places on science and technology. “We must adapt to the new demands of the 4.0 economy,” said the ambassador.

He recalled Sharjah is recognized as an emirate of culture, and a solid alliance can bring Brazil closer to it for exchanges in technology, science, and innovation.

Karen Jones stated the UAE have been making a great effort to position themselves at the forefront of innovation and technology, and Apex-Brasil has the role of identifying the best opportunities for Brazilian companies. “We hope our partnership (Brazil – UAE) is strengthened,” she said.

Ambassador Igreja invited all the participants to visit the Brazil Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai and said Sharjah offers a unique environment to foster innovation. “We want to bring Brazilian innovators and startups here to work on these opportunities,” he declared.

In addition to statements by authorities and leaders, the event brought discussions about innovation in panels.

The first was on the opportunities and challenges in the innovation environment in the Arab countries and Brazil, with moderation by Al Mahmoudi. The panelists were Paulo Alvim, secretary of Entrepreneurship and Innovation of the MCTI; Mohammed Juma’a Al Musharrakh, CEO of the Sharjah FDI Office; and Ludmilla Figueiredo, Investment director of the Apex-Brasil office for the Middle East and North Africa.

The second panel was on investments in Science, Technology, and Innovation in the Arab countries and Brazil. The secretary of Financial Structuring and Projects of the MCTI, Marcelo Meirelles, and the president of the Steering Committee of Women-in-Tech, Gustavo Figueroa, spoke.

In addition to the panels, there were also brief presentations by representatives of three startups exhibiting at the Brazil Pavilion at Gitex, a startup show taking place this week in Dubai. André Palma, from Asel Tech, an oil and gas startup; Paulo Tenorio, from Trakto, a digital marketing company; and Alice Girardi, from Technano Solution, a Biotech, presented.

Source: Emirates News Agency