Brazilian government prioritizes local software

Certification allows local companies to charge up to 18 percent more than foreign firms in public sector contracts

The Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) is building a list of local companies that will be able to sell their products for prices 18 percent higher than their foreign counterparts.

In order to charge higher prices and also have an advantage in government procurement processes, the Brazilian companies must apply for the Certificate of Information and Communications Technology (CERTICS).

The CERTICS badge is exclusive to companies focused on systems development as opposed to resellers. It applies a methodology developed in partnership with the private sector that, put simply, measures how "Made in Brazil" the software product is in terms of research, innovation and actual development.

Some 12 companies have already been certified by the government. According to the MCTI, 52 other development houses have applied for it. CERTICS is part of TI Maior, a strategic program focused on boosting the Brazilian software and the IT services industry.

According to globalization and technology expert Mark Hillary, the Brazilian government "doesn't have an obligation to always buy the cheapest alternative" when it comes to procurement processes.

"However, since they are spending taxpayers' money, they have an obligation to buy the best system at the best price. If they were to only buy 100 percent Brazilian software - be it for security concerns or job creation purposes - that would be a bit of a blinkered approach," says Hillary.

Since details of spying activity on Brazil by the US National Security Agency, there has been a concerted effort by the government to emphasize and boost the national information technology industry. The public sector also wants international input, as seen in various government-funded acceleration programmes and partnerships with foreign companies to boost Brazil's research and development capability.


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