Belgo Bekaert inaugurates innovation hub in Brazil

Thursday, 21 October 2021 20:36:23 (GMT+3)   |   Sao Paulo

Belgo Bekaert, a joint venture (JV) between ArcelorMittal and the Bekaert Group in Brazil, has launched an innovation hub at its Contagem plant in Minas Gerais state.

The company said it will initially invest BRL 2 million ($354,100) in the hub space, named Innovation Space or Espaço Inovação. The hub aims to help the company and its employees develop disruptive projects that could ultimately result in new products for the market.

Belgo Bekaert’s move comes as other Brazilian steelmaking companies had also launched similar hubs or even specific companies to explore innovation and tech-related business solutions. Earlier this year, Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) invested an undisclosed sum in a Singapore-based graphene start-up company known as 2DM. Graphene is a nano product that can be used into steel coating, steel welding, among other applications.

ArcelorMittal Brazil, the local subsidiary of steelmaking group ArcelorMittal, launched a $17.7 million (BRL 100 million) investment fund to invest in innovative startups. The so-called Smart Ventures fund will aid not only companies, but will also support the company’s strategy, innovation, and business transformation department.

Last year, Brazilian integrated steelmaker, Gerdau, through its business arm, Gerdau Next, launched a startup accelerator, known as Ventures Gerdau. Gerdau said at the time it expects Ventures Gerdau to support the steelmaker’s new business growth.

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