Rio partners with Columbia University for Innovation and Engineering Center in Rio

Eduardo Paes Rio Mayor Columbia University

(Photo/Douglas Engle, Australfoto)

Rio Mayor signs partnership with Columbia University to create an Innovation and Engineering Center in Rio de Janeiro.

Rio and Columbia University firm partnership to create Innovation and Development Center that seek solutions to urban problems

In New York, Mayor Eduardo Paes signed partnership with the School of Engineering for installation of the Rio Innovation Hub. Project will have an initial investment of US$ 500,000

The Rio de Janeiro City Hall has partnered with the Columbia School of Engineering to install in Rio a center of innovation and development of real  and applicable solutions to urban challenges in the city. With an initial investment of US$ 500,000, the Rio Columbia Innovation Hub will bring together professors from COPPE/UFRJ and Columbia in various areas, such as engineering, product design and entrepreneurship, promoting the exchange of technical and knowledge between Brazil and the United States. The aim is to go beyond research and develop concrete and tangible solutions inspired by the challenges of Rio that are also replicable in other cities in the world. The center will work in an interdisciplinary way topics such as smart cities, sustainability, engineering, data analysis, life sciences and advanced materials.

The Rio Columbia Innovation Hub will begin operating in July and will be the first academic center of an Ivy League (group that includes the most prestigious American universities) in South America in the area of applied sciences. The intention is to attract other partners from the private sector, as companies and industries, and centers of excellence with interest in developing innovative solutions. The hub will also work together with the eight Columbia Global Centers around the world.

“We have a partnership since 2010 with Columbia University. After the Global Center and Studio X, we now have the Columbia School of Engineering on our side to install an innovation center in Rio. It is a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience to treat since most traditional themes of engineering to urban issues, directed to the daily lives of Cariocas. In the area of services, tourism, intelligence, in sectors that contribute to the city grow and remain strong”, said Mayor Eduardo Paes, as he signed the agreement, this Thursday in New York.

The centre will be an important catalyst attracting and retaining talent in Brazil and the world to develop research in Rio, enhancing the city’s image as an important hub of knowledge generation and innovation on a global scale. It will also help to consolidate Rio de Janeiro as one of the leading educational centers of the country.

The dean of Columbia University, John Coatsworth celebrated the partnership and highlighted the scope. “This Hub has been designed by the university in conjunction with the Rio City Hall for five years, until we found an ideal model. It is led by the School of Engineering, but will enable the synergy of the 16 schools of Columbia, as it will have an interdisciplinary approach to all issues. Professors, students, entrepreneurs and leaders are invited to collaborate, go to Rio, take the ideas and designed studies within the classrooms and labs, to turn into reality products and solutions that will change the city life and the lives of people. This is our proposal. “

For Mayor Eduardo Paes, the partnership will further connect Rio to the major cities in the field of science and innovation. “This hub will be a great addition to technological research in Rio. It will help the city to be a leader in knowledge and innovation, to attract and retain talent and to be a leader in the fields of nanotechnology, biotechnology, energy efficiency and social networks. To be a global city, Rio de Janeiro must be connected to the scientific research conducted at major universities of the world, such as Columbia. Rio is also a fantastic laboratory and a creativity center, a leader in Brazil in the audiovisual industry, media and entertainment. Our laboratories are leaders in research in the oil and gas sector”, said Paes.

Rio, Smart City

The Rio Columbia Innovation Hub is the third partnership of the City Hall with Columbia University. Since 2011, the Carioca Design Centre in Tiradentes Square is the site of the first Latin America unit of the Studio-X – global network created in 2008 by the Columbia School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation to think the future of cities. The Rio unit serves all Latin American countries.

In 2013, a new partnership was made with the installation of Columbia Global Center in Rio de Janeiro, the second study center of Columbia in Latin America and the eighth in the world. The international units of Columbia help promote and facilitate cooperation between countries in new research, academic programs and exchanges between universities.

Home to four of the nine best rated universities in the country, Rio de Janeiro is home to the UFRJ Technology Park – one of the main R&D clusters in Latin America, with 12,000 engineers and almost two thousand researchers – and 17 other R&D centers that together generated an investment of US$ 1.6 billion in recent years.

It is in Rio de Janeiro also that GE installed its first Global Research Center in Latin America, which conducts studies in the areas of bioenergy, intelligent systems, offshore and subsea systems, which should prove an important ally of the Rio Innovation Hub. By 2020, the GE Center should employ about 400 researchers.

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