BlackBerry inaugurates technology center at PUC-Rio and has plans to manufacture handsets in Brazil
Canadian Minister opened the Tech Center at the university, and said that the company is an important part of the relationship between the two countries
The BlackBerry inaugurated Thursday its Tech Center in Rio de Janeiro, in partnership with PUC-Rio. The Canadian maker of smartphones and tablets with the initiative aims to encourage applications and new business start-ups based on the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, which tries to cope with fierce competition from Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
– The initiative is strategic because they have plans to manufacture their devices in Brazil, and so these technology centers receive subsequent investment from information technology law – reveals Professor Carlos José Lucena, one of the pioneers of computing in Brazil and coordinator Software Engineering Laboratory (LES) at PUC-Rio, where the center will be based.
The director general of Brazil BlackBerry, John Stricker, confirmed that the company intends to manufacture its new handsets in Brazil:
– We are evaluating the best way to begin to produce them here, because the country is a very important market – says Stricker. – We know that you can not be big in Latin America without being big in Brazil, hence there is the intent to manufacture “in situ”.
The Tech Center at PUC-Rio will be the fourth opened in Brazil (there are three more, in Maceió, Recife, São Paulo) and meet students in the areas of computing, design and engineering. Initially, it will be ten, and receive devices with BlackBerry 10 to develop your applications and work together with the Canadian company seeking new business opportunities.
– Canada has long been collaborating with PUC-Rio, especially through the University of Waterloo, and this new partnership will help foster innovation and create jobs – said Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, John Baird, who cut the ribbon inaugração of the Tech Center in the opening ceremony. – Our government usually works with technology companies through direct investment, education and tax incentives. And the BlackBerry is part of our daily lives … I use it so much that I get to sleep with my BlackBerry.
For the minister, the company is part of the growing rapprochement between the Brazilian and Canadian governments.
– It is certainly an important factor in the gradual increase in our bilateral relationship – said.
BlackBerry’s attempt to reinvent itself with new platform is proving difficult with successive losses and setbacks in the international market. Stricker, however, points to the flexibility in the use of BlackBerry 10 as its main weapon – especially the virtual keyboard more oiled and Balance function that allows the user to switch between a profile oriented apps for work and a profile more personal and leisure.
Students who began working with the system in the Tech Center mention the ease of programming functions for creating an smart factor for usability design aspects. Among the first topics proposed for the Apps are the Olympics in Rio in 2016 – and one of the first ideas is to think of software that help users to find the chaotic transport infrastructure Rio and orient themselves to get to the sites of future events .
The BlackBerry does not reveal the investment made in the Tech Center, but beyond the assigned devices, the company will be responsible for hiring personnel and managing resources to maintain the initiative.