by Josef Spillner

The Itaipu Technology Park (PTI) in Paraguay, founded in 2009, is involved with scientific and technological development which contributes positively to regional development. Several of its centres with a total number of 90 engineers and researchers put emphasis on ICT integration and the challenges connected with it. Among them are diverse plans to use cloud applications. In this context, the Service Prototyping Lab of Zurich University of Applied Sciences (SPLab) in Switzerland is conducting a two-week guest lecturing and research exchange presenting its research initiatives and outputs on the PTI premises in close proximity to Ciudad del Este.

Group picture in front of the centre building on the Itaipu campus

The host centre is consequently CTIC – Centre of Information and Communication Technology. The centre consists of three groups concerning solutions and software development, data centre operations and research on distributed systems and parallel computing. However, while most ICT-related functions including the operation of a data centre are held by CTIC, the exchange connects to other centres which demonstrate active needs for cloud-native applications, industry-grade resilient applications and hybrid software/hardware application prototypes. In particular, such use cases can be found in the following domains:

  • Assistive technologies – 3D prostheses are prototyped and controlled with programmable microcontrollers
  • Geographic information systems (GIS) – generic map models are systematically derived from map data to be re-usable in other contexts, and managed through repositories
  • Knowledge inventories – documents and process models are fostered and used for training purposes in new staff onboarding, leading to certain scalability requirements
  • Control and automation systems – robust installations in rough conditions are connected to cloud-hosted application parts through mobile connections, evoking questions of availability

As the main goals of CTIC are to introduce cloud-native design concepts and tools into other institutions as government ministries, universities, Itaipu and SMEs, several possible future joint projects between PTI and SPLab were already identified.

During this time, several seminars and courses will be offered to get a better mutual understanding of the issues and possible cloud-related solutions. In particular, the schedule foresees the following lecturing activities:

  • lecture on cloud-native applications
  • lecture on hybrid cloud-cyberphysical applications
  • practical multi-day course on cloud-native applications for the mentioned domains

The work occurs in the impressive environment of the Itaipu water dam, record holder on multiple occasions in terms of electricity produced by hydro plants and well-known binational technology masterpiece.

Power transmission substation connected to the Itaipu water dam