EMC's new Rio center to focus on oil industry, but with eye on other sectors

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

US storage solutions supplier EMC's (NYSE: EMC) new global center in Rio de Janeiro will initially focus on developing solutions for the oil industry, the president of the company's Brazilian unit, Carlos Cunha, told BNamericas.

"We will develop solutions based on the Brazilian oil industry's increasing need to store heavy data, but the goal is to subsequently replicate these technologies for other industries as well," the executive said.

Operations at the center will focus on developing solutions for big data, and it is part of EMC's broader five-year investment plan in the country. According to Cunha, some US$100mn will be invested throughout Brazil under the plan.

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The facility, which is EMC's first global center in Latin America, is being built at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro's (UFRJ) tech hub park. It is being funded by EMC, the local government and Brazilian oil giant Petrobras, along with support from the state government of Massachusetts in the US.

According to Cunha, EMC executives chose Rio de Janeiro mainly because of UFRJ's tech hub park proposal and its proximity to Petrobras' pre-salt operations and other oil companies.

Technical partnerships with other local universities and institutions were also an advantage to Rio, the executive said.

The cornerstone was laid last week for the center, but it has yet to be approved formally by Rio de Janeiro's state government, Cunha said. Only then the construction can begin.