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Boosting Innovation Performance in Brazil

Listed author(s):
  • Carlos H. de Brito Cruz
  • Luiz de Mello

Brazil's main challenge in innovation policy is to encourage the business sector to engage in productivity-enhancing innovative activities. At 1% of GDP, R&D spending (both public and private) is comparatively low by OECD standards and is carried out predominantly by the government. Most scientists work in public universities and research institutions, rather than in the business sector. Output indicators, such as the number of patents held abroad, suggest that there is much scope for improvement. Academic patenting effort is being stepped up and should be facilitated by the easing of restrictions on the transfer and sharing of proceeds of intellectual property rights between businesses and public universities and research institutions. Innovation policy is beginning to focus on the potential synergies among science and technology promotion, R&D support and trade competitiveness. To be successful in boosting business innovation, these policies will need to be complemented by measures aimed at tackling the shortage of skills in the labour force; this shortage is among the most important deterrents to innovation in Brazil, particularly against the backdrop of a widening gap in tertiary educational attainment with respect to the OECD area. Stimuler l'innovation en Brésil En matière de politique d'innovation, le principal enjeu pour le Brésil est d?encourager le secteur des entreprises à s'engager dans des activités innovantes génératrices de gains de productivité. À 1% du PIB, les dépenses de R-D (publiques et privées) sont relativement faibles par comparaison avec les niveaux observés dans les pays de l?OCDE, et elles sont surtout imputables au secteur public. La plupart des chercheurs travaillent dans des universités et des établissements de recherche publics, et non dans le secteur des entreprises. Les indicateurs des résultats, tels que le nombre de brevets déposés à l'étranger, donnent à penser que la situation pourrait être sensiblement améliorée. Les universités déposent de plus en plus de brevets et il faudrait faciliter cette évolution en assouplissant les règles qui restreignent le transfert et le partage des recettes tirées des droits de propriété intellectuelle entre les entreprises et les universités et établissements de recherche publics. La politique d?innovation commence à mettre l'accent sur les synergies potentielles entre la promotion de la recherche scientifique et technologique, le soutien à la R-D et la compétitivité commerciale. Pour parvenir à stimuler l?innovation dans les entreprises, il faudra compléter ces politiques par des mesures destinées à remédier à la pénurie de qualifications dans la population active qui constitue l?un des principaux obstacles à l'innovation compte tenu notamment du retard de plus en plus sensible du Brésil vis-à-vis de la zone OCDE en matière d?enseignement supérieur.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 532.

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Date of creation: 06 Dec 2006
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:532-en
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