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The cities where IEA operates

by Flávia Dourado - published Apr 11, 2013 02:40 PM - - last modified Apr 11, 2013 02:40 PM

São Paulo

IEA's head office is located in São Paulo, capital of the state of São Paulo. With nearly 11 million inhabitants, equivalent to 6% of the Brazilian population, São Paulo is the fourth most populous city in the world and South America’s largest. Located in Southeastern Brazil, along with 38 other municipalities, it ranks among the world's biggest metropolitan areas, home to nearly 20 million people.

São Paulo is the most important financial and economic center of Brazil and of South America. Contributing to more than 10% of Brazil's GDP and to about 35% of the state of São Paulo's, it is the world's 19th richest city. According to a PwC study, it may grow 80% over the next 15 years, climbing to the 13th position in this ranking by 2020. The city generates as much wealth as Chile, Latin America's fifth largest country, which places it among the 50 biggest economies of the world. In addition, the metropolis was ranked among the 40 cities that will make a difference in people's lives in the future, according to a survey released by McCann Worldgroup, a global network of advertising agencies.

The city hosts 26 universities — three of them public — and other 146 higher education institutions that ensure the education and training of a specialized labor force. It is the 45th best academic city in the world according to QS, the British group responsible for one of the most important annual classification of universities, Top Universities.

Besides being an important economic, academic and financial hub, São Paulo is also one of the main centers for new trends, culture and entertainment in Brazil, with a wide diversity of museums, theaters, cinemas, parks, restaurants, nightclubs, and similar establishments.

São Carlos

The first IEA hub was established in São Carlos in 1997. The city has about 220 thousand inhabitants and a floating population of nearly 20 thousand, mostly graduate and undergraduate students from all parts of Brazil. Located in the central region of the state of São Paulo, 234 km from the capital, São Carlos is known as an industrial, academic and technological hub, with agriculture also being an important economic activity (dairy products, orange, sugar cane, poultry, and corn in particular).

It hosts about 200 technology-based companies, noted for their innovation, as well as many large industries (including Volkswagen, Faber-Castell and Electrolux), research centers (two units of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company, Embrapa), and two major public universities, the Federal University of São Carlos and a USP campus. Due to this, it presents a high concentration of scientists, having a doctor for every 180 inhabitants, and an annual average of 14.5 patents per 100 thousand inhabitants; nationally, these rates are 5,423 inhabitants per doctor and 3.2 patents per 100 thousand inhabitants.

São Carlos is also home to the Advanced Technology Foundation (ParqTec), a non-governmental organization that aims to promote the city's technological development by transferring technology from universities and research centers to business companies.

Ribeirão Preto

The most recent IEA hub is located in Ribeirão Preto, a city in the northwest of the state of São Paulo, 319 km from the capital, a junction point that allows easy access to various Brazilian states. With a population of about 615 thousand, it's the main city of a region deemed the world's major producer of sugar and alcohol. Agribusinesses have boosted the city's economic development, with large-scale production of oranges, soybeans, peanuts, fertilizer and animal feed.

The city stands out for the number of hospitals, research institutions and universities, including a USP campus, being an important academic and research center focused on medical science. Thus, in addition to the agribusinesses, its economy is also based on the pharmaceutical industry and on the production of medical and dental equipment.

Ribeirão Preto is the state's fifth most important high-tech hub. In partnership with USP, the city is establishing a technology park centered on biotechnology and medical science that will enhance the region's scientific and technological development. The park will attract companies eager to invest in the research and development of innovative products and processes.

English revision by Carlos Malferrari — Picture: jlscha