Embraer Expands In U.S., Seeks “Disruptive Innovation”

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Embraer, which is based in Brazil, now is forming new innovation campuses in Silicon Valley and Boston, the company announced on Tuesday. “A major transformation is unfolding worldwide, and it has been accelerated by the evolution of artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, and autonomous vehicles,” said Antonio Campello, Embraer’s director of corporate innovation, who will lead the initiative. The objective, Embraer said in a news release, is to explore business opportunities in the future of air transportation, with the collaboration of startups, investors, academia and corporations. The team will seek partnerships that enable new business models and technologies. Operations will begin this month. 

“We want to integrate with the Silicon Valley and Boston communities, and create value for transporting people and cargo through the world's largest innovative ecosystems,” said Embraer CEO Paulo Cesar Silva. Embraer’s Silicon Valley outpost won’t be the first for an established aircraft manufacturer — Airbus already has a team there, called A^3, working on similar projects. Other transportation-oriented companies, such as Uber, also have recently invested in research teams that are focused on the development of new urban transit systems that incorporate autonomous flying vehicles. Officials in Dubai recently said they expect to launch an autonomous flying taxi service as soon as this summer. 

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