Networks and Clusters

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Clusters are groupings of companies having similar characteristics, which function in the same place or region and collaborate among themselves in pursuit of greater production efficiency. In Brazil, they are equivalent to the Local Productive Arrangements (APL). Universities and research institutions also are part of the APLs.

A survey taken in 2015 identified 677 Productive Arrangements in Brazil. The APLs are present in 2,175 Brazilian municipalities and are responsible for more than three million direct jobs in 59 sectors of the Brazilian economy. The data, updated in January 2018, are from the Department of Production Development (SDP) of the Ministry of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade (MDIC). They are generated by the Permanent APL Work Group (GTP-APL). Participating States and regions, however, have their own structure and management autonomy.

The main Brazilian clusters are found in the Southeast and South regions. The State of São Paulo shows the biggest trend to clusters with a technological base at the hubs in the cities of São José dos Campos, Campinas, São Carlos, Ribeirão Preto, and Greater São Paulo. Throughout the country, however, public initiatives of the Federal, State and Municipal governments, as well as efforts by private enterprise, focus on addressing productive arrangements.

Brazil has also invested in the creation of networks, like the national Institutes of Science and Technology (see item above).

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