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Fostering a New Brazilian National Innovation Policy


The Lemann Center collaborated with the debates to foster a new National Innovation Policy in Brazil. The Postdoctoral Research Scholar Rodrigo Barbosa e Silva represented the Lemann Center in a workshop composed by several state-level public funding agencies (such as Fapesp, Fundação Araucária, Fapemig), by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication; the Brazilian National Economic Development Bank (BNDES); and by other actors such as Caixa Econônica Federal and municipalities. The Center for Strategic Studies and Management in Science, Technology, and Innovation (CGEE) has led this workshop in Brasilia, October 2nd.

During his talk in Brasilia, Mr. Rodrigo explained that Brazil lags behind other nations because the country does not have a coherent and nation-wide adopted strategy towards innovation. Bringing examples from Russia, China, and the USA, Rodrigo demonstrated that Brazilian authorities should stimulate the national ecosystem of universities and different agencies, following international practices particularly taken by the other components of the BRICS.

According to Rodrigo, Brazil has compelling cases of innovation in several cities, and these success cases are local initiatives bringing together researchers, communities, and industry. Rodrigo has debated the importance of bringing innovation and technology to the center of public policies on education, science, and development.

The Lemann Center Postdoc argued that a national strategy requires international comparison. However, local practices must be observed and fostered to amplify Brazilian cases in innovation. It demands a better level of integration between agencies, a better understanding of the regional differences in Brazil, and a democratic debate about the potentials and perils of digital technologies to the Brazilian people.

The National Innovation Policy is a demand from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation, and Communication. The Strategy aims to empower the ecosystem of innovation in Brazil to promote practical actions towards equalitarian development. Notwithstanding, "the only way to encourage real and democratic development is recognizing what already happens in Brazil," concluded Mr. Barbosa e Silva.

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