The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Luciana Santos (PCdoB), participated, this Tuesday (14), in Porto Alegre (RS), in the operational resumption ceremony of the National Center for Advanced Electronic Technology (Ceitec). The public company, linked to MCTI, works in the design and manufacture of integrated circuits and chips for application in various segments. In 2023, through decree No. 11,478, the reversal of the company’s liquidation and its operational resumption was authorized.
:: Decree authorizes reversal of the liquidation process and establishes operational resumption of Ceitec ::
As stipulated by the minister, Ceitec can resume production from next year. “At the same time, we will be making investments for a new technological route, for modernization. This is new equipment that can adapt the structure we have for this new route. This is the design we are aiming for, in seven years we want the factory to become independent of state resources”, he highlighted.
As he highlighted, the entire complex, strategic and risky production chain has time to establish itself and enter the market. “We have no doubt that this technological path that we are betting on, which is the energy transition, digital transformation and the automotive sector, is an emerging market that will be exclusive, including in Latin America, in South America. And we have the chance to insert ourselves on this route and at the same time be able to do what is essential for any nation, which is technological mastery in such a sensitive area of semiconductors”, he pointed out.
For the minister, Ceitec brings together the conditions for the development and manufacture of devices that meet global challenges, such as the energy transition, providing inputs for photovoltaic panels, electric and hybrid vehicles.
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“Ceitec is an opportunity for Brazil to master the scientific, technological and productive knowledge that few countries in the world have in a strategic sector. With highly qualified human resources and sophisticated infrastructure, the center has the capacity to operate different technological routes, including those aligned with innovation and reindustrialization policies on new bases”, he highlighted.
During the event, the president of the Ceitec Employees Association, Silvo Luis dos Reis Santos Junior, delivered a letter of thanks / Photo: Katia Marko
In turn, the president of Ceitec, Augusto Gadelha, recalled that the semiconductor area is “complex, requires massive investments and human resources competence” and highlighted its importance for the country’s development. “There is a lot of talk about the ‘chip war’ between China and the United States, because the chip is the fundamental piece of modern society,” he explained. “Brazil lacks the capacity to manufacture chips, and that is what Ceitec proposes. Ceitec is necessary for the country and we have to be successful. Brazil can indeed be part of the countries that manufacture chips”, defended.
During the event, the president of the Ceitec Employees Association, Silvio Luis dos Reis Santos Junior, delivered a letter of thanks to the minister. “With satisfaction we reached today, it was three years of struggle, we had many difficulties. This is a relevant company, and we need to start over with a different focus.”
Resumption of the company
Founded in 2008 by presidential decree, Ceitec is the only semiconductor manufacturer in Brazil and Latin America. Before the liquidation process began, the state-owned company had produced 110 million chips since 2012.
During the liquidation period, which began in 2020, under the government of former president Jair Bolsonaro (PL), the public company reduced its workforce from 120 to 70 employees, who maintained the operation in a “hibernation” mode so that the area production remained in working order. According to the minister, since the creation of Ceitec in 2008, 245 million chips have been produced, mainly the so-called “ox chip”, in addition to the registration of 45 patents.
Asked if there is a plan to ensure that Ceitec is not interrupted again with a possible alternation of power, the minister pointed out that unfortunately this is a risk that is always taken due to the context of the State’s role. She highlighted that public authorities need to be an inducer of development and that the government does not want to replace the role of the market. And she once again emphasized that what we want is to insert the country into emerging routes.
:: Extinction of CEITEC is highlighted in the Brasil de Fato Pernambuco Program ::
Regarding the reduction in staff, the minister stated that it was one of the worst legacies of the liquidation. “Training people is not a quick and simple process. We want to attract some of our engineers, we need these engineers on the production line. We have an important base in maintenance and thanks to the passion and conviction of these technicians and professionals we are managing to resume the production of chips. It will be necessary to recompose the engineers on the production line so that we can stick to this recovery agenda.”
Ceitec will have an investment of R$ 110 million that will be included in the Budget Guidelines Law (LDO) of 2024, and aimed at upgrading the company to adapt it to this new moment.
“We have no doubt that this technological path that we are investing in, which is the energy transition, digital transformation and the automotive sector, is an emerging market” / Photo: Katia Marko
Meeting with deans
The minister’s agenda in RS began this Monday (13), in Bento Gonçalves (RS), in a meeting with deans of federal institutes. On the occasion, she highlighted the role of excellence of the institutions and defended the contribution of science and technology to overcoming national challenges.
“Federal institutes were created as a structuring and revolutionary public policy in the first cycle of President Lula’s government”, recalled the minister. “Their reach and training of professionals have an impact on research. They are spaces of excellence, of valuing education, of inclusion and decentralization of teaching units, reducing regional asymmetries and enhancing regional vocations”, she added.
According to the minister, MCTI will launch the notices for the Pró-Infra program, to expand and consolidate the scientific and technological research infrastructure of universities and science and technology institutions. “Through Pró-Infra, we will invest R$4.4 billion by 2026. A portion of these resources will be allocated to infrastructure focused on priority themes for national development: health, defense, energy transition, ecological transition and digital transformation” , he added.
* With information from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and Jornal do Comércio.
Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul
Editing: Katia Marko