Google intends to inaugurate a new engineering space in Belo Horizonte in November that will more than double the number of engineers working in Brazil on some of the company’s core products and expand the technology center in Brazil. The announcement was made during the visit of President Dilma Rousseff to Google at Silicon Valley last week, according to the press.
Today, about 100 engineers – mostly Brazilian – are working at the Google engineering center in Belo Horizonte, the only center of this kind that the company has in Latin America. The center opened ten years ago and has received US$ 200 million in investments, the company has said.
“Dilma’s visit to Google and Silicon Valley has been very important. The internet and new technology are the engine for growth and competitiveness. Digital should be also a priority in the relationship between Brazil and Europe, and we hope that Google will be more active in promoting EU-Brazil dialogue in ICT”, said Luigi Gambardella, president of EUBrasil.
Bringing the internet to remote areas of the country such as the State of Amazonas was also one of the main points discussed for a possible cooperation between Google and Brazil, as reported the press. “We are trying to resolve the problem of communication in the Amazonas State region”, said President Dilma Rousseff during one of the interviews.
The company has a program – the Loon Project – using stratospheric balloons to bring internet to mobile phones and tablets to isolated regions. As said by Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, the balloons will give the Amazonas state of Brazil the opportunity to cheaply connect to the internet.
Google says that Brazil is both the fifth country with the largest number of people connected to the internet and the eighth with the most disconnected population, conforming to the press.
In USA, Rousseff met top Silicon Valley executives from Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Amazon Inc., Cisco Inc. and PayPal. After the United States, Brazil is the second-largest user market for Google, Apple and Facebook.
The Brazilian government wants to cooperate with the US in the areas of technology and innovation. In April, Rousseff also announced that the government would conclude a partnership with Facebook to expand Internet access in Brazil. The announcement was made after her meeting with Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, during the last Summit of the Americas in Panama.