Edition nº 31
Proof of technology
Canada strengthens partnerships with Brazil by resorting to innovative solutions and using its experience with Olympic Games to generate business opportunities in preparing mega events|
The signing in 2008 of the science and technolo-gy agreement between Brazil and Canada, and the launching of a fund for bilateral science, technology and innovation projects in 2009, are the most recent examples of the existing partnerships between the two countries that together are working on the development of new solutions in several industries. In an article published in the Brazilian edition of Le Monde Diplomatique, Jamal Khokhar, the Canadian ambassador to Brazil, provides the exact dimension of the importance of this alliance when he stresses that “the countries have established a far reaching dialogue to foster partnerships, with the objective of creating pioneer technology that contributes to a more sustainable future”.
The Canadian capacity to innovate is nothing new. Specifically in Brazil, the country reasserts its interest in expanding cooperation in the aerospace, agricultural, bio and nano technology, pharmaceutical, IT, communications and renewable energy industries. The expertise in generating new solutions for big events, however, increases the opportunities for Canadian initiatives in Brazil, being a gateway for new business and a viable alternative for partnerships.
It was during the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver in 2010 that Canada revealed to the world not only the talent of its contenders, but also its potential in this regard. This in fact is so because nowadays the country’s companies seek to transfer their knowledge, mainly as related to technology, for the realization of events in Brazil, such as the Confederations’ Cup in 2013, the Soccer Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. “Canada intends to sign a new cooperation agreement, given that we have experience in organizing this type of competitions, such as the Olympic and the Pan American Games, in which we make sure that they take place in a totally safe environment. These referred events are much like the World Soccer Cup and the Olympic Games, so we wish to share this knowledge, especially in terms of technology”, states Ed Fast, the Canadian minister of international trade.
Luiz Carlos Barreto, the president of SEBRAE – Brazilian Support Service for Micro and Small Companies, recalls that organizing the Winter Games was highly positive for the Canadians. “Projects that had been on hold for 15 years were finished. One can obtain a lot of experience from partnerships”, says the executive while referring to the results of a survey conducted by the entity together with the FGV – Getulio Vargas Foundation. “In civil construction, IT, tourism and services, 448 business possibilities were identified for small companies in the 12 host cities of the World Cup”, concludes Barreto.
During a recent mission to Quebec, Leon Claudio Myssior, vice-president of SINAENCO – the National Class Entity of Architecture and Engineering companies, could see for himself the actual interest in events on the part of entrepreneurs of that province. “Some companies see them as a gateway to business in the country”, he reports, referring to the IT and software, safety engineering and systems’ automation markets as being the most promising. “To take part in the construction of stadiums generates visibility”, states Myssior. This is the field in which TMV Engenharia, a Brazilian company certified by the Canadian company Gala Systems (stage and auditorium automation) operates in. “We developed Spiralift, a stage elevator system used by orchestras and for hauling loads”, says Miguel Niro, director of TMV. According to him, sports events allow Canadian technology to achieve more repercussion in the market. “It is necessary to directly contact the companies responsible for building the stadiums. We set up a partnership with WTorre, which is working on the new arena for the Palmeiras sports club. We will supply an equipment that removes game signs whenever the stadium hosts shows”, informs Niro.
Environmental issue – In civil construction, the company Mills has an alliance with Canadian company Aluma Systems. “The expectation is to generate revenues between R$ 50 and 100 million with the modernization of the stadiums. Our products are used in several stadiums, such as Arena Pantanal (State of Mato Grosso), Arena Amazônia (State of Amazonas), Arena Fonte Nova (State of Bahia) and the Maracanã stadium (State of Rio de Janeiro)”, says Erik Wright Barstad, Mills’ Construction director. “An important sector is that of urban mobility. The Rio de Janeiro metro system and the LTV system in Brasilia are users of our expertise”.
Aware of the existing business opportunities, the company Concargo Bombas de Concreto, the exclusive distributor of the Canadian company Concord Pumps, is expanding its activities in infrastructure. “With the Soccer Cup alone, we hope to increase our sales volume by 20%. Therefore, we offer specific equipment, but demand has yet to meet our expectations, because a number of projects have so far not materialized”, explains Marcos Antonio Pinto do Amaral, technical manager of Concargo. The people who monitor the schedule of the works needed for the World Cup know that a considerable portion is delayed. However, this fact does not affect companies’ expectations.
Rubens de Oliveira Junior, Business Development director at Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, a consulting firm specialized in environmental engineering, is skeptical about the development of some of the projects, but does not ignore their potential. “The delay may affect environmental studies. We observe a lack of political awareness with respect to the importance of sustainable solutions. On the other hand, there is a potential to be exploited and I believe the company will soon participate in some of the projects”, adds Oliveira Junior”.
Apart from solutions for the works, Canada develops specific safety equipment. The Federal Police bought one of the country’s technologies, known locally as the “Cup Kit”, comprising a robot that remotely explodes bombs, an anti-fragment garment and a cover tent to avoid detonations. Another system consists of closed circuit TV camera technology sold by Bosch. “Nine out of ten stadiums at the 2010 World Cup used this technology, which monitors both the stadiums and the transportation”, tells Marcos Menezes, Sales and Marketing manager of the Security Systems Division.
In IT, events are also quite interesting. “When we talk of sports events, we associate them with infrastructure, but personal qualification is in high demand”, says Marcos Paulo Perfeito, franchisee of Canadian company WSI, specialized in internet marketing services. “Brazil needs to invest more in digital marketing. A hotel that intends to attract tourists, for example, must have a functional website”, assesses Perfeito.
Specialized in learning management technology, Operitel in turn offers personnel qualification content. Artur Asnis, the company’s CEO in Brazil, calls attention to the fact that Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo already host people from around the world, whereas other cities will receive a much larger stream of foreigners, albeit the professionals in those places lack the same degree of experience. “We want to operate in the same host cities with less tradition in tourism. Therefore, we have invested US$ 200,000 and hope to achieve a return of US$ 1.5 million with the Soccer Cup and the Olympics”, believes Asnis. In betting on the potential of Canadian technology, Luiz Mello, president of Golden Goal, also foresees making a profit from events. “We offer Performind, which assesses sponsorship proposals, emphasizing that it makes it possible to maximize investments. This technology is applied in 25 countries by companies such as British Telecom, the official sponsor of the 2012 games in London”, explains Mello
In architecture and engineering, Transoft, which develops CAD applications for transportation and infrastructure, is betting on a product to be used at events. “The system simulates a parking lot, instantly showing its layout and calculating the cost, which may be quite useful in a stadium project”, explains Adelmo Couto, the brand’s representative in Brazil.
Data of a study by Ernest & Young – Sustainable Brazil – Social and Economic Impacts of the 2014 Soccer Cup, shows the main indicators related to that sports event, of which technology is one of the highlights. In 32 days, the World Cup in Germany generated data traffic of about 15 terabytes, the equivalent of 100 million books, requiring IT infrastructure. The increase in the participation of the professional media and the connectivity of amateur users suggest that in 2014 this number will be even higher. The forecast is that investments of R$ 309 million will be required to cope with the data stream and the event’s associated processing capacity.
Planning. That’s the secret according to Penny Ballem, city manager of Vancouver, for worldwide success of the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, held in 2010. To achieve this objective, the targets required engagement by the government and the citizens:
TRANSPORTATION – Reduction by 30% in the traffic of vehicles in the central region during the competition. To that end, one encouraged walking and using bicycles;
COMMERCE – Extension of office hours of restaurants and bars, change in bus operations and other collective transportation means;
SECURITY – The Army, the Vancouver Police, Police forces from all over Canada, and a considerable number of private security forces provided public security;
Investments – In order for all levels of power to operate in an integrated manner, five congresses were organized, involving us$ 60 million in private investiment. The Olympic Games originated costs in the amount of us$ 6.7 billion.