Law passes to give IT companies tax exemptions.
Siegried Koelln, a member of ACIS-SL's Young Entrepreneurs group and the director of SKA proposes a tax exemption for IT companies, to the deputy mayor, Ronaldo Ribas. On August 5, the mayor, Waldir Schmidt approves Law No. 3874, which exempts IT companies from the Services Tax (ISSQN) and the Urban Land Tax (IPTU).
Early Stages of the foundation of the IT Hub
The ACIS-SL begins work to establish the São Leopoldo IT Hub, under the management of Cláudio Coelho Marques (1996-1998). On December 17, a delegation of 13 businessmen and officials representing the six cities of the Regional Board for the Development of the Vale dos Sinos (Consinos) visits the Petrobas Research Center, the Bio-technology Hub of the Bio-Rio Foundation and the business incubator at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. A plan is established to define the concept of a São Leopoldo IT Hub.
Initiative to establish the São Leopoldo IT Hub.
In 1996, discussions kick off to create the São Leopoldo IT Hub. This involves the Trade, Industry and Service Association of São Leopoldo (ACIS-SL), the University of the Vale do Rio dos Sinos (Unisinos), the Association of Brazilian IT Software and Services Companies - RS region (Assespro/RS), the IT Business Union of the state of Rio Grande do Sul (Seprorgs), The South - Rio Grande do Sul Society for Software Development Support (Softsul) and the Municipal Government of São Leopoldo.
The First Steps in establishing the São Leopoldo IT Hub
The future of the IT sector in Rio Grande do Sul begins to be laid out. Siegfried Koelln and the president of Assespro, Cláudio Corrêa Carrara, meet with businessmen. The mayor, Ronaldo Ribas, approves Law No. 4420, officially establishing the IT Hub and its Board. The same law also donates 36,589.29 m2 of land next to Unisinos, to ACIS/SL, in order to build the Hub, in exchange for contributions to the Municipal Health Fund.
The state government of Rio Grande do Sul provides BRL 150k to landscape the site of the IT Hub. Also in this year, the building of the Incubator of Technology-based Companies of Unisinos (Unitec) began.
The incubator is established
Unisinos undertakes to build and run an incubator and a business park. It was formally opened on June 30, 1999.
The Opening of UNITEC
In February UNITEC begins taking applications from companies interested in setting themselves up in the incubator. By July, Unitec was open.
Building begins on the IT Hub
The state government provides funding for paving the entire road, laying down pipes and electricity and telecoms cables. In September, nine companies make the first financial commitments to occupying the land donated by the city. The commitment promised to the Municipal Health Fund was fulfilled. In December, building begins on the Science Park. The first companies to begin construction are GVDASA Systems and SKA.
The Opening of the Hub and the first businesses
GVDASA Systems opens its headquarters in the IT Hub in July. In October, SKA follows suit. The Hub is formally opened in November.
The Arrival of Altus
Altus begins operating at the IT Hub. They establish research and development facilities, along with engineering and administration branches at this site. The facility also includes specialized labs, support and technical assistance for equipment, testing areas, application development areas, within its configuration.
Creation of the Technology Development Fund
The mayor, Ary Vanazzi, approves the law that sets up the Information Technology Development Fund - FDTI. In December, the business leaders and companies of the park, set up Partec. The project makes it possible to expand construction of the Hub. The Mexican company, Softek, announces that it is establishing a Global Development Center.
The opening of Partec.
The Partec building is opened, and the park increases by 5,685m2.
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the technology complex is renamed by Tecnosinos, being changed to São Leopoldo Science Park.
SAP arrives and a new name.
The local government passes Law 6925, which provides benefits in the form of an increase to the base calculation of the Services Tax (ISS): Each company can claim an extra half point for every position filled by a local inhabitant from São Leopoldo. In July, SAP, the largest enterprise software company in the world, sets up in the park and from this point on the IT Hub becomes known as the São Leopoldo Science Park - Tecnosinos.
The Incubator wins an award
In November 2012, SBPA Simulator, a company from the incubator, UNITEC, was awarded 1st Place at the National Innovation Enterprises Awards in the category, Best Company incubated in 2012, held by ANPROTEC.
Consolidation of UNITEC
In 2013, the Incubator, UNITEC – the Innovation and Technology Unit, was awarded 3rd place in the Best Science Based Incubator Awards, held by The Technopolicy Network and the Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Services (CSES).
The Best Science Park in Brazil
In 2014, UNITEC - The Unisinos Innovation and Technology Unit, was awarded first place for Sustainability and also the highest honor: Best Incubator in the World from the Technopolicy Network. The park was recognized for the second time, in 2014, by Anprotec - the National Association of Promoters of Innovative Enterprises, as the best Science Park in Brazil.
Expansion – UNITEC 2
The new Unitec 2 building was opened, providing 37 new places for startup companies in the incubator.
Expansion – UNITEC 3
The new Unitec 3 building was opened, providing R&D centers for graduates and established companies.
Cerne 1 Certification
In January 2017, Unitec completed the CERNE 1 assessment and certification process. This achievement means that the incubator is one of the first in Brazil to receive such recognition. The certification is based on the adoption of good practices in key processes, based on four levels of maturity. Each level of maturity demonstrates a step by the incubator along the route of continuous improvement.
Renovation and Growth
Renovation of the infrastructure of the Unitec 1 labs. The return of the Sustainability program, Green Tech Park. Third phase of the SAP expansion.
Opening of Partec Green
Formal opening of the Partec Green building, an eco-friendly construction, that is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified by the Green Building Council. Only four projects in Rio Grande do Sul have been awarded the Platinum green seal for sustainability. It has 11 floors and 99 rooms for established companies.