Box 17 - A goal-oriented project: Strategic Development of Computer Science

The strategic development of computer science project (DESI) is supported by the National Research Council, through its division of special projects, and the United Nations Development Program. It combines research projects proposed by members of the scientific community with a broad project aimed to develop a national software industry for export and a national infrastructure for communication and computer applications.

The project is divided in three programs, the National Research Network (RNP), the Multi-institutional thematic program (PROTEM) and the software program (PROTEX). RNP is a computational infrastructure aimed to create a network linking all scientific and research institutions in Brazil with each other and with the rest of the world. PROTEM was initiated by the National Research Council's advisory committee in computer science to create, for their field, a mechanism similar to those created by PADCT for other high technology fields. CNPq provided an initial grant which led the main research centers in computer science to associate around subjects deemed strategic, generating more than one hundred cooperative projects. If carried on as planned, PROTEM is expected to generate a quality jump in this field of research. SOFTEX was created under the assumption that Brazil could become a significant exporter of software to the international market. It is supposed to provide assistance to software producers on how to gain competitiveness in the international market, and to establish a network of supporting groups to provide industries with advanced development technologies, and to link them with universities and research institutes.

The DESI project has an estimated budget of US$ 27m for three years. The expectation is that 13 groups for cooperation between industry and research institutions could be established in the most research and industrially intensive regions in the country.

Carlos J. P. Lucena, 1993.