In 2008, the Celso Furtado Center`s Board of Directors began a process of establishing closer ties with universities and researchers in the Northeast, by organizing a series of events in the region, and requesting collaboration from specialists in the regional economy. These activities gained considerable support from the Banco do Nordeste do Brasil (BNB), which later associated itself with the Center in its study grant and research programs. In 2010, BNB became the Center`s fifth associate patron. In the same year, professor Tania Bacelar de Araújo, of the Federal University of Pernambuco (Northeastern state), one of the most brilliant specialists in development at this Brazilian university was elected president of the Celso Furtado Center`s Deliberative Council.
The Center`s interest in the question of development of the Northeast of Brazil manifested itself in various events, whose proceedings were the object of careful and detailed publication by the Center, namely in O Pensamento de Celso Furtado e o Nordeste Hoje (The Thoughts of Celso Furtado and the Northeast Today) and in the Cadernos do Desenvolvimento nº 7 (Edition 7 of the Development Journal), which published the proceedings of the seminar held in Recife, in 2009.
In 2010, a seminar held in Natal, in partnership with the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, and the Federal University of Pernambuco`s Regional and Development Studies and Research Nucleus (D&R), led to the creation of the Medium-sized Brazilian Cities network, which aims to bring together researchers and research related to the problems of medium-sized cities and their municipal areas, with special focus on the problems of innovation - (http://www.redbcm.com.br/English/AboutUs.aspx). This network, which received support from the Ministry of Science and Technology, aims to extend its reach, over time, to all the municipal conurbations within the federation.