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Porto Digital

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Table of Contents:



Porto Digital

(Digital Port in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil)


Porto Digital is an Information and Communication Technology Cluster with a focus on software development. It is located in Recife, the capital city of Pernambuco, in the Northeast of Brazil. Pernambuco in the global context has shifted towards emphasizing its human capital, entrepreneurship and innovation. Away from the sugar mills to a services-based economy and with the ICT sector increasing its share in the State's GDP. While the national average is 0.8%, in Pernambuco this share achieves 1.8% according to data from the National Institute for Geography and Statistics (IBGE) and the Sate Planning and Research Agency (Condepe). This is the economic transition that is making Recife and the State of Pernambuco into a reference for newly industrialized countries.


Contact information

Contact person: Valério Veloso - President of Porto Digital

Contact info: Rua do Apolo 181, Bairro de Recife, 50030-220 Recife/PE, Telephone +55 81 34198000, Fax +55 81 34198001

Email: portodigital[a-t]i-nec[d-o-t]com

Website: http://www.portodigital.org






About the Porto Digital - Information technology center


Porto Digital, a technological development project that aggregates public investments, private initiative and universities, aiming at the domestic and foreign markets. Porto Digital, which already accounts for about 3.5% of Pernambuco's GDP, comprises an innovation system that already aggregates nearly 100 entities, including IT and specialized service enterprises, two technological centers, one specialized public library and two incubators.


Created in July 2000, the project is located in the former Port of Recife, contributing significantly to revitalize that historical urban area, which today presents an infrastructure adequate for the installation of information and communication technologies, counting on a modern telecommunication structure, with 8 km of optic fiber and 26 km of pipelines.


Within just six years of operation, Porto Digital has already attracted ten technological enterprises from other regions of Brazil and four multinational enterprises. In 2005, the Porto Digital complex sold over R$ 400 million, with about 3 thousand direct jobs. Among these employees, 47% are over 25 year-old and 88% have university education, gaining salaries three times over the average wages in Recife metropolitan area.



Game development:


In particular, Recife is currently one of the most important Brazilian poles in Game development. In 2000 there were about 5 professionals working on the unique game development studio. Then, a big effort has been made, by the academic (in particular the Center for Informatics ), entrepreneurship and industrial sectors to improve this activity. Nowadays, there are more than 200 professionals working on various game development studios, among them Meantime , Jynx and PreLoud.



Areas of Focus:

Among its various specialties in ICT are: management systems for financial, health, transport and security institutions; solutions for developing portals; and the development of games and applications for mobile handsets.


Business incubator:

C.E.S.A.R is one of the anchor businesses for the Digital Port cluster (www.portodigital.org), a dynamic, innovative environment which brings together components needed by companies to develop and explore advanced technology, allowing market penetration into a highly demanding market.


The Recife Center for Advanced Studies and Systems (C.E.S.A.R), one of the major providers of technological solutions in the Brazilian market, operates on two basic fronts: developing exclusive projects and incubating new businesses.


C.E.S.A.R was founded in 1996 as an initiative of the Center of Informatics at the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) in order to stimulate the transfer of information technology knowledge into society. Through its incubation process, in almost ten years of existence the Center has directly and/or indirectly introduced roughly 30 new companies into the market. Its pioneering work with the J2ME language helped the Center become one of the first development and test centers for Motorola mobile devices.


CESARs competence ranges from neural networks and e-commerce to software engineering and digital systems architecture, including databases, wireless networks, distributed systems, Internet, information systems, network security and geo-processing.


Awards & recognition of CESAR:  The Center's competence and innovative spirit have been recognized with a number of important quality awards and certifications: C.E.S.A.R is one of the few software suppliers in Brazil to have obtained CMM2 certification for its development process, besides an ISO 9000 certificate for its incubation process. It was also elected the best software services company in Brazil in 2005 by Info Exame magazine, one of the leading national magazines specializing in business and IT journalism. In 2004, it was considered the most innovative research institute in the country by the Studies and Projects Financing Fund (Finep), linked to the Ministry of Science and Technology.


CESAR incubation results:


CESAR Incubation Results

  *not a huge amount of revenue from graduated companies...

Revenue of graduated companies: US$ 4.2 million in 2006

Public and private investment: US$ 1.8 million in 2006

Direct creation of 10 IT companies

Indirect creation of more than 30 IT companies

Success rate of graduated companies: 100%

Satisfaction rate of entrepreneurs: 87%



CESAR incubation process:




read more here:  http://salu.cesar.org.br/ncm_cesar/servlet/newstorm.ns.presentation.NavigationServlet?publicationCode=15&pageCode=1392




CESAR and Venture Capital:

forges alliances with strategic partners in the areas of technology, services, business, and venture capital, while maintaining a clear market vision and world-class performance.


CESAR by the numbers:























University Partnership:

UFPE's Center of Informatics (CIn), one of the most respected academic institutions for technology in Latin America and one of the top five in Brazil. In over 30 years of existence, CIn has become an economic and technological development nucleus for the state and a reference for the country as a whole. Today its faculty consists of 50 professors – 43 of them with PhDs – who teach 1,000 students on both undergraduate and graduate (strictu sensu and latu sensu) programs.


Global partnerships:  The Center's production is the result of intense research from more than 50 R&D projects, besides partnerships with major national and international institutes such as INRIA and the University of Paris VI (France), the Universities of Oxford, Kent and Edinburgh (United Kingdom), the Stevens Institute of Technology (US), the University of Toronto (Canada), the International Institute for Software Technology (United Nations, Macau) and the University of Tübingen (Germany), among others.


Export orientation

Noordtek is a brand name from the Pernambuco technological cluster that focuses on the foreign market as its primary business objective. Representing 35 companies in Porto Digital, including Pitang and CESAR, Noordtek develops software for the financial, telecommunications and health sectors.

An Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) provider with over ten years experience serving clients world-wide, Noordtek offers the benefits of competitive, high-quality, leading edge, full-cycle application development. Based in beautiful Northeastern Brazil , Noordtek is a stone's throw away from the United States – making product development with us convenient to our clients around the world.  To accomplish this it boasts a technical team of no less than 1,500 professionals ready to present the best solution of the highest quality and state-of-the-art technology.



It produces computer Chips and Programs, which are exported to Japan, China and other countries



If we want to attract local tech help in Recife, it is very easy and affordable. Recife is home to one of Brazil's top computer science university programs; the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) which boasts one of the best computer-science departments in all of Latin America. The school began teaching programmers to use Sun Microsystems Inc.'s (SUNW ) Java language in 1996, the year it was introduced. Professors at the school also teamed up to launch Centro de Estudos e Sistemas Avançados do Recife (C.E.S.A.R), a business incubator that has played a vital role in the birth of some 30 companies.


Foreign companies 

cluster of advanced technology companies with Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) such as Microsoft, Oracle, Microsoft, Nokia and Siemens.


Government incentives:

government incentives linked to Porto are ordinances which offers financial incentives to companies in the hub and a reduction of up to 60% in their taxes.





Brazil: Porto Digital expands IT complex at Recife
3 July 2006


The 100 IT companies gathered in Porto Digital complex at Recife (Pernambuco), are to post sales of R$500mil until end 2006 leading managers to expand the area to host more companies. Plans are to add 32,000 m2 of area and invest R$3,5mil in infrastructure creating the Recife Digital Center. In 2001 only three companies were at Porto, and 50 new companies set up operations there over the last two years. So far investments from the public administration in the area were R$35mil, while companies invested R$50mil. Further plans include to create the Information Technology Business Center (ITBC) in a 13,500 m2 area nearby




Problem:  Labor shortages at the "Porto Digital" 


Information Technology runs risk of "going out"
13 February 2006


For Valério Veloso, director-president of Porto Digital of Recife (Pernambuco), the Information Technology (IT) sector already threatened with the possibility of suffering an "extinguishing" of specialized labor. "Professional capacitation is a problem for us. In a general manner, the efficiency of the education system is very low," said Veloso, adding that currently for each 100 curriculums that reach the Center of Advanced Studies and Systems of Recife (Cesar), only an average 13 are really prepared to participate in the selective process.


Based on data from the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) and the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) government statistics office, Cesar noted that about 30,000 persons are trained in courses of computer engineering and science. However, only about 20% of these are really qualified for the market. "The emergence of private faculties increased the scale, but the quality suffered greatly," said Veloso




Recife: A Hot Incubator For Tech Startups

Recife's business park is helping power a $10 billion industry in the country


In a darkened room in Recife, Brazil, a half-dozen youths peer at glowing computer screens, battling it out in a multi-user game. This is no cybercafé, but rather the offices of Jynx Playware, a budding Brazilian designer of computer games aiming for sales of $400,000 this year. "The first requirement if you want to work here is you have to be a gamer," says André Araujo, 32, one of Jynx's five founding partners.


Think of the global information-technology industry, and your first thought isn't of Brazil. Yet Brazil's IT industry has been growing at a 10% annual clip since 2000, according to São Paulo researcher E-Consulting Corp., and now boasts sales of $10 billion a year. Exports of high-tech goods and services should rise from around $500 million last year to $2 billion by 2007, predicts Trade Minister Luiz Fernando Furlan.


Recife's Porto Digital, a business park in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, shows how it can be done. The colonial town's once-crumbling port district is now home to Jynx and 84 other IT startups employing 2,000 people and generating combined revenues of some $100 million. "It has all grown much more quickly than we expected," says Valério Veloso, a former investment banker who in May became president of the public-private sector initiative, launched in 2000, to support new ventures. To get the project off the ground, the state government kicked in $18.3 million, while the city of Recife and the federal government have pitched in with tax incentives and cheap loans.



Porto Digital's startups can count on a ready pool of talent, courtesy of the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), which boasts one of the best computer-science departments in all of Latin America. The school began teaching programmers to use Sun Microsystems Inc.'s (SUNW ) Java language in 1996, the year it was introduced. Professors at the school also teamed up to launch Centro de Estudos e Sistemas Avançados do Recife (C.E.S.A.R), a business incubator that has played a vital role in the birth of some 30 companies.


One of C.E.S.A.R'S star progeny is Jynx. The 20-person operation uses artificial intelligence and cutting-edge graphics software developed in-house to produce sophisticated virtual-reality games for use in business training. It has also developed so-called advergames for Coca-Cola Co.'s (KO ) Brazilian Web site and for Brasil Telecom, an operator partly controlled by Telecom Italia. Another C.E.S.A.R offspring is Meantime, a maker of games for mobile handsets whose clients include Motorola Inc. (MOT ) and Verizon (VZ ). "Games are one of the most complex areas of computer programming," says Roberto Soboll, Motorola's director of engineering for Latin America. "In Recife they understood that early on and began teaching games programming at the UFPE. The idea is not to create experts in games but to develop complete software developers."


Porto Digital won't turn Brazil into an India overnight. And many in the industry feel the government should be doing more to promote IT development. "If you look at South Korea, they have become the global standard for network games because the government decided to invest in connectivity and training," says Ivair Rodriguez, a São Paulo analyst at global IT consultancy IDC. Still, Rodriguez stresses that Brazil does have world-class talent, especially in Java, open software, and electronic security -- all fields in which the Porto Digital companies are strong. If high-tech startups can flower in one of Brazil's least-developed states, it's a sign Brazil may have a shot at creating a digital economy


source: business week magazine online JULY 25, 2005





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