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Itaipu has elected the R&D area as one of its priorities. With the purpose of preserving its operation and maintenance knowledge acquired over the years, as well as offering its know-how to other companies in the electricity industry, Itaipu is currently implementing its Corporate University (ICU).

The idea emerged from two major projects. One of them was initiated by Eletrobrás, which has been encouraging companies in the industry to set up or strengthen this sort of program. The other is called Knowledge Management, which the binational company had already been carrying out in an effort to organize its intellectual capital.

One of the aspects of the project is the interconnection of all data banks. To that end, the Knowledge Management portal was created and made available on the intranet. Its implementation showed that there already were several initiatives dedicated to coordinating the company's intellectual capital. One of the topics already fully mapped is the installation of a new generating unit.

The Corporate University is run by a 14-member council (seven from each country) and counts on facilitators in various areas. At the current stage, the entire legal part has been completed, including the creation of the statutes establishing its operation in three basic lines: Corporate Education; Research, Development and Innovation; and Knowledge Management.

The ICU will operate as a coordinating body among the several company divisions, involving mainly the areas of human resources, training, information technology and the Itaipu Technological Park.

The University will not have its own physical structure. That is why it will operate closely with entities like the Itaipu Technological Park (ITP), which has already been doing research and development work.

The idea is to not replicate assignments. To coordinate the integration there is a technical council that defines priority actions, like the creation of the Advanced Dam Safety Study Center in collaboration with the ITP, and the establishment of specialization programs in collaboration with federal institutions, among them the Ministry of Education (MEC).

Besides catering to the in-house audience, the Corporate University will work with audiences that are somehow related to Itaipu objectives. Regarding the environment, for instance, it will promote training for companies located around the power plant.

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