Quebec closer to Brazil

Commercial mission brings eight companies from the Canadian province, specialized in the development of technological and innovative solutions for the infrastructure and construction sector

By Sérgio Siscaro

The infrastructure and construction sector is one of those with the greatest growth potential in Brazil. And this huge demand for projects in areas as diverse as energy, oil and gas, logistics and transport, mining, basic sanitation and civil construction, among others, must be accompanied by technological solutions that allow more efficient results, which meet both the need for cost reduction and reduction in environmental impacts.

For this reason, the Quebec Office in São Paulo, together with the economic development agency Investissement Québec International, is organizing, in the second half of November, a virtual trade mission aimed at this sector. The objective of the initiative is to connect companies in the region with potential Brazilian partners – and for this it counts on the logistical support of the commercial team of the Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CCBC).

“We have a very diversified group, made up of eight companies – and that includes everything from newcomers to the Brazilian market to those that already have branches established in the country. Some seek to promote their products or services directly to end customers, or through distributors; others are looking for local partners and bring a portfolio of innovative and diversified solutions”, explains Thais Aun, director for Economic Affairs at the Quebec Office in São Paulo.

And, in fact, the range of solutions developed by this group of companies is quite diversified. It encompasses project management for mining and metals, energy, oil and gas, construction and logistics; intelligent buildings; central vacuum systems; lighting design for residential and corporate projects (with unique, on-demand and high-end luminaires); and custom-made, high-quality prefabricated structures for multi-family homes. Among the participating companies, the highlights are Sensequake, which develops integrity monitoring and structural assessment solutions through sensors and artificial intelligence technologies; BlueKanGo, working with software that allows companies to collect, centralize and analyze information in real time to improve safety at construction sites; and Upbrella International, developer of a safe building system for high-rise buildings, starting with the roof and without the need for a tower crane.

The mission targets Brazil’s great demand for infrastructure projects, which require investments in areas in which Quebec companies have great expertise, especially in works involving specialized engineering, automated systems for energy saving and intelligence management of buildings, among others.

Innovation Hub

Quebec is currently home to an ecosystem of innovation, formed from the interaction between educational and research institutions, business and government; so much that the province is now recognized as a world leader in artificial intelligence and information technologies. “We have a unique synergy between the fields of design, high technology, science and arts. It is from this synergy that Quebec’s creativity and innovation emerge. Innovation is vital to the continued prosperity and development of industries, which is why the province devotes significant resources to fostering dynamic research and development (R&D) centers and networks of excellence,” says Aun.

The province stands out in Canada for the fact that it directs 2.32% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to R&D activities – which encourages the concentration of researchers from different areas. According to Quebec’s strategic plan for research and innovation, total investments in the sector between 2017 and 2022 are expected to total CAN$ 585 million. The purpose of the initiative is to make the province one of the most innovative and creative societies in the world.

“An important issue currently discussed in Quebec is that of smart regions. Digital technology plays a key role in the development of these solutions. A niche of excellence is green building, which incorporates innovative design, construction and operation practices that seek to reduce negative environmental impacts; another is that of intelligent buildings, which promotes a productive and profitable environment by turning to the optimization and interrelationship of infrastructure, systems, services and management”, says the director.

As stated by her, the promotion of Québec companies that can contribute to projects in Brazil should set the tone for the work of the Quebec Office in São Paulo over the next year. “In addition, our next commercial activities should be in the transport and logistics sector, as well as in healthcare”, concludes Aun.