Rio de Janeiro, March 21 (IANS/EFE) The impending arrival of multinationals Siemens and Halliburton marks the emergence of Latin America's largest technological hub here in Brazil's second city, the head of the project said.
"Five of the 13 major companies that secured spaces in the park are already operating and Halliburton and Siemens will inaugurate their technological centers in the coming days," Mauricio Guedes, director of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro's Technological Park, told EFE.
After an investment of 1 billion reais ($500 million), the park is expected to be fully operational by the beginning of 2014 with a workforce of roughly 2,500 people, 80 percent of them engaged in research and development, he said.
The park was founded in 2003 to stimulate interaction between the university's students and cutting-edge firms and the proximity of state oil giant Petrobras' R&D center has made the park a magnet for companies in the energy sector.
"The park was conceived for various activities, but the focus is oil," Guedes said.
Among the firms already operating in the park are two powerhouses of the global oil-services industry: Schlumberger and Baker Hughes, while the park is also home to General Electric's first R&D center in Latin America.