Less bureaucracy, costs, and paper in institutions! The Brazilian Ministry of Education (MEC) has just launched the National Program of Digital Certificates with ICPEdu (Public Key Infrastructure for Education and Research). The service of the National Education and Research Network (RNP) enables the unlimited issuing of personal digital certificates for 2.5 million students, teachers, and employees of teaching and research institutions in a simple and free way. The creation of the Program makes the partnership between MEC and RNP official, in favor of digital transformation of Higher Education Institutions (HEI) of the federal network, and starting this Wednesday (24/03), the service can already be used in the academic processes and systems of institutions that have joined it.
At the event, which was broadcast on the Youtube channel of MEC, the Minister of Education, Milton Ribeiro, explained that the adherence to this service is part of a digitalization strategy of the Government. "This action aims to contribute to the process of digital transformation that is directly in line with the Digital Government strategy in Brazil, since it allows offering services that are of better quality, simpler, and accessible at any time and place, with a lower cost to citizens... Research and education institutions will be able to offer digital certificates to their users in the short term, without the need to invest financial and logistics resources," he argues.
Then, the director-general of RNP Nelson Simões, participating remotely, listed possible uses for this technology. "The applications are countless: in administration, daily processes, academic management, teaching hospitals, and research, safe relationships with other organizations, in the data that make up research repositories, intellectual property protection, and even in the authentication of communication flows between machines and algorithms".
The ceremony also had the presence of the Secretary of Digital Government (SGD) of the Ministry of Economy, Luiz Felipe Salim; the rector of the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Ubaldo Lucinda Baltazar; and other representatives of MEC, such as the executive secretary of MEC, Victor Godoy; the Secretary of Higher Education (MEC), Wagner Vilas Boas; the secretary of Technical and Technological Education, Wandemberg Venceslau; and the Undersecretary of Information Technology and Communication at MEC, André Castro.
With an incentive from MEC, the service offered by RNP boosts the process of digital transformation of universities and institutes of the federal network, thus enabling the simplification and automation of processes in HEIs. But that is not all! The solution provides other benefits, such as:
Security and credibility: The personal digital certificate of ICPEdu works as an electronic identification for people and can be used for reliably signing digital documents. Certificates like SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) are installed on the institution's web servers, thus implementing encrypted communication, which ensures increased access security and confers credibility to the institution. This service ensures that the document was really signed by the user. In addition to the digital signing of documents, a personal digital certificate can also be used as an access key to specific systems as an alternative to the "login and password".
More agility: The personal digital certificates of ICPEdu are issued in less than a minute, at any time of the day, by the users themselves, since it is integrated with the Federated Academic Community (CAFe). Once issued, this certificate can be used to digitally sign priority documents between educational and research institutions, among other uses, in specific systems of these institutions.
Economy: With adherence by universities and institutes of the federal network to ICPEdu, the Brazilian Ministry of Education saves approximately R$ 124 million yearly, which would be used to purchase digital certificates.
Reducing the use of paper: With the personal digital certificate, it is no longer necessary to print several pages to sign a document. Everything will be completed digitally! In addition to addressing the sustainability issue, since there will be a reduction in waste generation, the solution becomes fundamental in the face of the compulsory social isolation in the national academic environment due to Covid-19, since teachers, researchers, and managers can no longer go to their respective institutions to sign contracts, decrees, reports, and other administrative documents.
How to participate in the ICPEdu?
All federal research and education institutions can register for the service and complete the registration process in up to 48 hours. They just need to be part of the RNP System, a member of the Federated Academic Community (CAFe) and have the credentials to use the service. Registrations must be submitted by the institution's IT manager to RNP's Service Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Issue your certificate through the pessoal.icpedu.rnp.br. Below, see how easy it will be for users of client institutions that register in this new service to issue a digital certificate: