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PR: Brazil, IBM Team For New Technology Center

Sep 09, 2004, 15:15 (0 Talkback[s])

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IBM and the Brazilian government today announced they have signed a cooperative agreement for the establishment of a Knowledge and Technology Center, which will promote and develop open standard solutions in Brazil, under the auspices of the Information Technology Institute (ITI). The Ministry of Culture and the University of Brasilia (UnB) are also involved in the project.

The CDTC will encourage the popularization of open standard solutions by training technicians, and supporting professionals and users of public administration systems. The intention is to establish a growing group of open standard users. The CDTC aims to stimulate and supply tools for the Brazilian market to adopt new information technology standards, based on open-code software.

Set up at UnB in Brasilia, the CDTC will support collaborative development and technological migration projects from public agencies and small companies involving the use of open-standard-based solutions. IBM and ITI will manage the CDTC and will also define its priorities and strategies.

For ITI's president Sérgio Amadeu this partnership is one more opportunity for the Government to encourage adoption of this type of technology: "CDTC will allow a vigorous dissemination of knowledge throughout the country, in addition to expanding the national technological intelligence."

For Rogerio Oliveira, chairman of IBM Brazil, helping the Brazilian government to establish technological references with open standards in the public sector is equally important, since the computerization based on open standards brings benefits such as interoperability, scalability and lower costs.

"For developing countries such as Brazil and for governments focusing on fostering economic development and diversification of the information technology industry, open standards can help to play a leading role in the government strategy towards economic development," said Mr. Oliveira. "More than 60 countries have already adopted open source. To reach its deserved standing on the international economic scene, Brazil plans to use these new technologies in a structured way, and as a development catalyst."

Today's announcement is a continuation of IBM's commitment to open standards in Brazil. A previous one is Project Linux at Porto Digital, Recife (Pernambuco), which came about through a partnership with the local government and other institutions. In that case, students have the chance to learn about information technology through IBM technology and open systems.

In the State of Rio de Janeiro, a Linux laboratory has been donated by IBM Brazil to the Pandiá Calógeras Technical School (ETPC), sponsored by the National Steel Company (CSN) Foundation. There, lab developed activities allow students to work with Linux while developing a potential labor pool not only for CSN, but also for other neighboring companies in Volta Redonda.

IBM also takes part in a social partnership with Anima Mundi/Anima School and the Pure and Applied Mathematics Institute (IMPA), through its Reinventing Education Project, towards developing the Movement Universal Analyzer Animation Software (MUAN). This is an application developed on a Linux platform by the IMPA team with the goal of introducing animation into elementary school curricula. IBM Brazil has donated IBM notebooks and digital cameras to IMPA and the Anima School.

The CDTC's first task this year will be to train 700 public service professionals from the Education Technology Nuclei (NTEs)--a government program aimed at supporting public schools and state education bureaus. The courses will be given in all Brazilian state capitals and their goal is to explain all possibilities and benefits of open standard-based models. Next year, this training will be complemented by a seminar in Brasilia for some 100 public service professionals.

The Brasilia CDTC will have:

  • A Development Laboratory with resources necessary for the creation and generation of open software testing;
  • A Library that will be a source for consultation, intellectual support and a means to build awareness of the knowledge generated at the Center;
  • Classroom training;
  • A Portal with a goal or providing access to all knowledge and techniques generated at CDTC for public agencies, small companies and the general public;
  • A Call Center that will support the government and small companies looking for more information about using open software in their operations; and
  • An operating team comprising five government experts, two government/university managers, five IBM trainees and one UnB master/doctor. Team members will be supervised by a government appointee.

The CDTC's creation is the first partnership between the Brazilian government and IBM Brazil, following the signing of a letter of intent at the end of 2003 for the development of projects using open-standard solutions. The letter formalized both parties' interest in concentrating efforts and resources to implement social programs using this technology.

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