Vice Consul Samuel Callan Downing visited Sorocaba on March 14 to promote people-to-people exchanges and to bolster collaboration between Sorocaban and American industry and government. With more than 100 export industries, Sorocaba is one of Brazil’s most important manufacturing centers, concentrating technologies related to auto parts and wind energy. The city is actively courting foreign investment and international collaboration on research and development. Representatives of American firms Flextronics and Johnson Controls discussed with Mr. Downing their participation in the city’s innovative Parque Tecnologico de Sorocaba (PTS), a 1.8 million square meter center for R&D established in 2012, and requested the Consulate’s assistance in publicizing opportunities for American seed capital and American universities to collaborate with the PTS. The center already boasts collaboration with seven local universities and 23 corporate laboratories and is exploring a partnership with the University of Texas.
Downing’s visit was part of the U.S. Mission to Brazil’s Route 66 program, through which foreign service officers serve as liaisons to the 66 largest cities of Brazil’s interior, including Sorocaba, home to 630,000 inhabitants. Downing highlighted the important work the Centro Cultural Brasil-Estados Unidos in Sorocaba does to match Brazilian students with American universities, noting the center’s contribution to the 20 percent increase in the number of Brazilian students who chose to study in the United States last year. Meeting with Mayor Antonio Carlos Pannunzio, Downing lauded Sorocaba’s innovations in balancing sustainability and economic growth. He also met with the Honorable Adriana T. F. Furukawa and the Honorable Erna Hakvoort and Court Administrator Carlos Darwin de Mattos of the 10thDistrict Criminal Court to explore collaboration on a potential International Visitor Leadership program to share alternatives to incarceration and best practices in prison reform. To close out the day, he took the pulse of the city in a roundtable meeting with journalists from the Cruzeiro do Sul newspaper.