In partnership with European Union and Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication, the ICT Week 2016 took place between 20th-23rd September, at Correios University Auditorium, in Brasilia (Brazil). The event gathered together researchers, policy makers and information communications technology (ICT) enterprises from both Brazil and the EU to discuss cyber security, internet of things (IoT), over the top (OTT) services and 5G technologies.
Since 2008, Europe and Brazil have supported each other and exchanged information on collaborative projects from over 30 different fields, mostly focused on science and technology” The main goal of this collaboration is to contribute to transatlantic progress and consolidate strategic partnerships and bilateral relationships.
During the event, there was a workshop about EU-BR coordinated calls in ICT, highlighting the research results from ongoing EU-BR projects. The workshop was also a meeting place for candidates to find future partners for the next call, focused on IoT, 5G, cloud computing and cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity was one of the points discussed during the event, since there is a very specific research target that needs to be fulfilled. Oulu University was mentioned as a good benchmark for Brazil to prepare its own skilled human resources to address the challenges that the country faces in Software audits and the constantly growing market for open software.
Technology these days is created to attack and defend itself from cyber threats, but the strategy should be to create less vulnerable technology. One of the areas where cybersecurity is extremely important is medicine, where ICT devices collect and store personal information about patients without their consent (there isn’t yet legislation which regulates these medical ICT devices).
Brazil academic entities have the skills to address these challenges, but the country needs support. Brazil still has a very modest role in ICT area, although its competence is starting to become known worldwide.
The main challenges are to train qualified professionals at all education levels (high school, bachelors, masters and PhD) and to share the knowledge equally between several geographical areas. Qualis system was pointed out as a good example of an educative system that can create masters and professional courses that will support national ICT development.
The EU-BR cooperation workshop revealed the research results from the coordinated calls in ICT. So far, the 3 coordinated calls invested 17,5 million euros from each side, with 142 proposals and 14 selected projects, the results of which have had significant impacts on the economy and society of both regions.
The 4th coordinated call will be announced this year in Europe, and will gather potential partners together for the next 6 projects that will be funded with 8,5 million euros by each side. The projects will focus on IoT, 5G, cloud computing and cyber security. During ICT Week, proposal candidates had the opportunity to pitch their ideas and to network.
Professor Lisandro Granville from RNP explained the rules, evaluation criteria and the main challenges for the next EU-BR call.
MCTIC announced that it is working on an IoT Action Plan which benefits from the outputs of a working group dedicated on IoT, while keeping the interest of the EU and Brazil in mind.
Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) representatives announced the public call BNDES/FEP nº01/2016 that was launched on 9th May 2016, in which IoT was introduced as a technology that has the potential to go much further than traditional ICT, and thus can positively impact all sectors of the economy. Brascomm highlighted that Brazil lacks skilled professionals needed to create new ICT solutions that will support the manufacturing sector, increasing its potential for quick development. Additionally, transforming cities into “smart cities” will attract more habitants and investors, developing both the local and national economy (tourism, services, industry, etc).
Concerning 5G, Brazil is working on a new roadmap as well, in order to develop the commercial sector. The most important challenge will be the creation of devices for machine dialogue communications in order to have reliable networks.
Prof.Matti Latva Aho from Oulu University showcased collaboration programmes with Brazilian students, whose success is a very encouraging sign for future collaborations in this field. Professionals from CPQD, USP and INATEL are working together to develop 5G in Brazil, where EU-Brazil collaboration can result in very promising development and innovation in both regions. Professor Moacyr Martucci mentioned the partnership with FIWARE and HUAWEI in Europe.
Bureaucratic costs and lack of standards aligned with the international community are two major deterrents to Brazilian development. Furthermore, manufacturing legislation in Brazil is outdated and does not allow the country to get the most of 5G technologies due to slow update processes. 5G is a technology that will help Brazilian industry to develop and face constantly growing demand.
ICT Week 2016 had a high number of attendees from several business sectors, which made the event a great place to share different insights regarding what has to be done to develop the European and Brazilian economies together.