For more than 20 years, the World Wide Web has been built daily by many hands. Developers, entrepreneurs, activists, governments, and users have made this service on the Internet an essential tool for social development. The Web gives the Internet a more human touch. It is responsible for user-friendly, democratic access to communication and data exchange functions. In order to maintain this collective, interconnected characteristic, the Web requires constant collaboration in its development and monitoring of technologies and patterns.
The Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br) stands out as a model of Internet governance for the world. Founded in 1995, CGI.br guides the healthy growth of the network in Brazil based on a multisectoral configuration. It comprises 21 members from civil society, the government, the business sector, the third sector, and the academic community. It is in this spirit that the Web Technologies Study Center (Ceweb.br) was born. It was created as a department of the Brazilian Network Information Center (NIC.br), the executive arm of CGI.br, to help the Brazilian community participate in the global development of the Web and underpin public policymaking. The activities of Ceweb.br, inspired by this multisectoral nature, encompass Internet service, which is the most important and most present today.
The creation of the Ceweb.br was inspired by the principles and projects that have already been developed by the W3C Brazil Office (World Wide Web Consortium), hosted and supported by NIC.br in Brazil since 2008, with the mission of promoting activities that stimulate the use of open and standardized technologies on the Web.
Activities and Attributions
The objectives of Ceweb.br are to foster innovation on the Web; stimulate better use of the Web; show the Web’s potential for several segments of society; and contribute to the evolution of the Web. The results of the Center’s efforts will be consolidated in platforms, courses, studies, recommendations, and publications through cooperative agreements and spaces for ongoing discussion and collaboration. The main themes are:
- The Internet of Things – a term used to describe the network of physical objects that are connected to the Internet. It opens up a vast field for fostering using the Internet as one of the main interaction platforms;
- Open patterns that are internationally accepted and debated in organizations that are able to include all those interested in Web development, and provide independence to suppliers and proprietary technologies;
- Web accessibility. The 2010 Brazilian census indicated that 24% of the population (more than 45 million citizens) had some sort of physical disability
- Research on Semantic Web and Open Data, encouraging and supporting the ecossystem of the actors - developers, government, civil society organizations, private organizations and endusers - around those subjects.
- Incentives for the Open Web, or the Open Web Platform – a set of technologies developed by the W3C and its partners in search of innovation, consolidation, and efficiency for the Internet;
- Studies on and monitoring of practices being used in commercial establishments and electronic governments in Brazil.
Within the scope of the activities carried out by Ceweb.br, special emphasis is given to discussions on new Web projects and proposals for public policies that use the Web interface as their principal means of social innovation. Ceweb.br was established with the mission of carrying out the following projects and actions:
- Fostering research into Web technologies;
- Conducting courses, studies, publications, and meetings about Open Data;
- Coordinating Web accessibility working groups in Brazil;
- Actively participating in the W3C Data on the Web Best Practices Working Group;
- Researching and supporting the development of Semantic Web technologies;
- Developing the Web experimentation lab (LabWeb);
- Offering a National Prize for Web Accessibility;
- Establishing Brazilian and international cooperation agreements.
The Center also proposes to encourage new agendas and actions on the following current themes:
- The Internet and the Web of Things;
- Web payments;
- Web and digital TV;
- Automotive Web;
- Semantic web and structured data;
- Studies on the Web as an interface of the new economy.