Uruguay Is “On Top” In Software Technology, EU Ambassador Says

By Dialogo
November 10, 2009

Uruguay has a level of development in the software industry that puts it “on top” in the region as far as “value and volume of exports” and also in “quality and innovation,” the head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Uruguay and Paraguay, Geoffrey Barrett, said. Barrett so expressed himself at the inauguration of the Software Testing Center (CES), a project for technology evaluation in which the EU has invested one million “non-reimbursable and non-debt-generating” euros. From 2004 through 2008 the EU participated in this pioneer industry in Uruguay through the Enlaces project, through which the EU contributed another million euros and which left “the EU highly satisfied,” according to the community representative. That previous project “succeeded in bringing a measure of order to the dizzying growth of the software industry” and was the reason for the creation of INNOVA, the project that the European block is financing and the National Agency for Research and Innovation is administering, Barrett added. The community representative indicated that Uruguay doubled its software exports in less than a decade and that foreign sales were around 220 million dollars in 2008, adding at the same time that “it’s not crazy” to think that this figure might exceed 400 million dollars in 2010. “The appropriate decisions were taken at the right time, and valuable personnel were brought in from abroad, who trained very capable people in this country, and they in their turn left and came back with new knowledge,” Barrett recalled that a businessman in the sector explained to him shortly after his arrival in Montevideo. The CES is a consortium made up of the Uruguayan Information Technology Chamber (Cuti), the Computer Science Institute of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of the Republic, and the Julio Ricaldoni Foundation. Cuti’s president, Alvaro Lamé, emphasized to EFE that Uruguay is the “third-ranking Latin American country in per-capita software exports.” Lamé explained that the center will be dedicated to “consulting about testing, independent testing, and training,” which entails a “mechanism for evaluation and improvement.” The convergence between industry and the academy in the CES will attempt to “contribute quality, value, and productivity to businesses in order to achieve improved positioning and profits in the sector,” in Lamé’s judgment.