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IBM To Build Research Lab In Brazil

Facility will help Big Blue broaden its presence in South America and leverage local IT talent.
IBM said Tuesday that it plans to open its first research lab in Brazil, with an eye to developing smart systems for transportation, healthcare, agriculture, and other industries.

The lab will also focus on building computer systems that Brazilian officials could use to manage major events, such as soccer's 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

An IBM spokerperson said the company has yet to determine the lab's location, or a precise opening date. IBM has already hired "a handful" of researchers to staff the facility, the spokesperson said.

IBM officials said the lab will eventually give the company a broader footprint in South America and help it leverage the region's talent and resources.

"Brazil's abundance of natural resources and technical talent presents unique research opportunities and the ability to deploy them to solve increasingly important problems," said IBM senior VP John Kelly, 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," said Kelly.

For their part, Brazilian officials said IBM's move is evidence that the country's efforts to boost its IT industry are paying off.

"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," said Miguel Jorge, Brazil's Minister of Development, Industry, and Foreign Commerce.

IBM currently maintains eight labs in six countries, employing 3,000 researchers.