5 Dec 2016
Colombo innovating with agro-industrial economic development

When Colombo made the commitment to the 10 Principles of the United Nations Global Compact in September 2015, the city acknowledged the work that would be required to build a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable future. Now, just one year later, Colombo has become an Innovating level city, addressing these challenges through a multi-sectoral sustainable and inclusive economic development project.

Located within the metropolitan region of Curitiba, the capital of the Brazilian State of Paraná, Colombo has a population of 215,000. With an economy based on agriculture, over recent years the city has been investing in agricultural technology to make the transition towards sustainable and inclusive development.

Through the multi-sectoral Agroindustrial Park and an Agribusiness Innovation Centre, Colombo is taking the next step towards becoming a resilient, safer and more sustainable city. After gathering the support of local, regional and international actors, Mayor Beti Pavin and the local administration team recently unveiled the project. Aiming to mobilise the entire community, the project involves partnership  with government, non-government, private sector and academia.

Developed by the Department of Planning, Budget and Management, the Agroindustrial Park and Agribusiness Innovation Centre is based on pillars related to the use of local expertise, innovation, technology, socio-economic development and sustainability.

The project is seeking to preserve the unique agricultural features of the region and unite it to the industrial sector, blending scientific research, innovation and technology as important factors for the socio-economic development of the municipality. It considers the Italian migrant heritage of the region, which has deeply influenced the municipality’s culture and economy. The project is also responding to rapid urbanisation and population growth and aims to provide employment for the younger generation. The Park will also include enterprise incubators and a business accelerator.

The Agroindustrial Park and Agribusiness Innovation Centre project is also seeking to preserve the environment by providing a pathway away from traditional limestone mining which has detrimental environmental effects and is a risk to the critical water source, Aquifer Karsten. The project is also seeking to bridge social, economic and physical divides in the community.

The city’s Secretary of Planning, Cezar Bittencourt says “the project will encourage local businesses and foster entrepreneurship, offering new opportunities of employment. We also envision coordinated actions between universities and local schools, aiming to ensure quality education and long-term benefits for future generations”.

Sustainable Development Agenda and multi-sectoral partnership

The Agroindustrial Park and Agribusiness Innovation Centreproject specifically addresses and has targets related to three of the Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.
  • Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
  • Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.

To date, the project partners include:


  • Prefeitura Municipal de Colombo – Paraná, Secretaria de Estado do Planejamento e Coordenação Geral,
  • Instituto de Tecnologia do Paraná – TECPAR,
  • Agência de Fomento do Paraná – FomentoParaná,
  • Agência de Desenvolvimento do Paraná – ADP,
  • Banco Regional de Desenvolvimento do Extremo Sul – BRDE e
  • Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária – EMBRAPA/Florestas.

Non government:

  • Serviço de Apoio a Micro e Pequena Empresa do Estado do Paraná – SEBRAE/PR,
  • Federação das Indústrias do Estado do Paraná – FIEP/PR,
  • Associação Nacional de Entidades Promotoras de Empreendimentos Inovadores – ANPROTEC,
  • Câmara Ítalo-Brasileira de Comércio e Indústria do Paraná – ITALOCAM,
  • Câmara de Comércio e Indústria Brasil Japão do Paraná – CCIBJ,
  • COPEL Telecomunicações S/A – Copel Telecom.


  • Universidade de Aveiro – Portugal, Instituto Superior de Ciências da Informação e Administração – ISCIA/Portugal,
  • Universidade Federal do Paraná – UFPR / Grupo de Estudos e Pesquisas em Tecnologia Aplicada – GEPTA/SEPT,
  • Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná – PUCPR e Instituto Federal do Paraná – IFPR (Unidade Colombo)

Private Sector:

  • Sistema de Informação em Educação e Tecnologia – SCIENTECH