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Driving Brazil's Semiconductor Industry: MCTI's Strategies and Challenges

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The Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MCTI) presented its key initiatives to foster the development of the semiconductor industry in Brazil during a public hearing in the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday, September 13, 2023. The highlights of the presentation included the Program for Technological Development Support in the Semiconductor Industry (Padis), which has been extended until 2026, and the Information Technology and Communication Law (ITC Law).

In the presentation, Henrique Miguel, the Secretary for Science and Technology for Digital Transformation at MCTI, revealed that Padis has generated significant results, including approximately R$ 4 billion in revenue for the national semiconductor industry in 2022, R$ 120 million in investments in research and development activities related to semiconductors, and the creation of 2,500 direct jobs.

Henrique Miguel also emphasized the need to update and expand Padis to enhance the semiconductor value chain in Brazil and increase its global market share. He stated, "Without Padis, our chances of attracting the industry and developing the segment to participate in the global semiconductor chain are practically zero."

Regarding the ITC Law, the MCTI Secretary mentioned that this policy instrument has incentivized industries in over 80 Brazilian municipalities, benefiting more than 500 companies and resulting in R$ 2.4 billion in investments in research, development, and innovation.

Henrique Miguel provided an overview of the evolution of public policies related to the sector over the past decades and affirmed that the semiconductor industry is strategic and cross-cutting for the country. He pointed out that the shortage of components such as chips can have an impact on various sectors, including electricity, transportation, healthcare, and supply.

The joint hearing of the Committees on Science, Technology, and Innovation and Economic Development of the Chamber of Deputies featured the participation of government representatives, industry stakeholders, and academia. All the attendees stressed the necessity for Brazil to establish a strategic policy for the development of the semiconductor industry.

"The Brazil will fall out of the world's top 10 economies if it doesn't start investing in semiconductors," emphasized Professor Marcelo Zuffo from the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo (USP). He stated that the semiconductor industry plays a crucial role in the country's economic security and noted that Brazil has a positive legacy in this sector that needs to be harnessed.

According to Federal Deputy Vitor Lippi (PSDB-SP), who initiated the hearing, there is no technological component more crucial in today's digital age than semiconductors. He emphasized that as one of the largest countries in the world in terms of population and producer of electronic equipment, Brazil needs to invest in public policies, research, and innovation to develop the semiconductor industry.


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