Silvio Meira

Ashoka Fellow
Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil
Fellow Since 2011


This profile was prepared when Silvio Meira was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.
The New Idea
Silvio has achieved synergies in the transfer of knowledge in information technology between universities, businesses, and society. CESAR integrates innovation centers in Brazil into a knowledge network, which is able to rapidly implement software development projects connected to the future without jeopardizing quality. This network is transforming Recife—a city generally associated with low development, violence, and poverty, into the largest hub for technological software innovation in the country.

Silvio first created a world-class academic center as a professor at the Federal University of Pernambuco, convincing colleagues to participate with him in forming the leading university and think tank for software development in Brazil. Then CESAR formed an even more ambitious partnership with the state government to begin a software development park, Porto Digital (Digital Shore), which has attracted major investments from leading companies.

In addition to founding CESAR, Silvio also stands out as a business entrepreneur who has been one of the major promoters of a model of technological development with regional diversity. He is also one of the creators of Porto Digital, a new generation “Silicon Valley” in Brazil: An environment of entrepreneurship, software innovation and business information technology and communication, which brings together, more than 150 companies and 5,000 employees in the Northeast. Silvio’s goal is to reach 200 companies in 2015, 20,000 employees and revenues of up to US$1.3B—12 percent of the state’s GDP.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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