The Metropolitan Region of Campinas, Brazil: applying the technopolis framework
This paper examines the potential of the Metropolitan Region of Campinas (MRC) for becoming a technopolis. Located an hour from São Paulo, in Southeastern Brazil, the MRC has been internationally recognized as an important world technological center. This paper maps the economic and technological environment of the region and develops an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the MRC with respect to entrepreneurship and becoming a technopolis. We begin by looking at selected high-technology industry and service sectors as well as the infrastructure supporting technological innovation and entrepreneurship in the form of research institutes, a research university (Unicamp), support groups, and three incubators. We then discuss the results of two surveys of companies associated with Unicamp or one of the incubators to determine the reliance of these companies on the MRC infrastructure for financing and marketing to networking and legal assistance, as well as their policy recommendations for improving entrepreneurship in the region. We conclude that the region is attractive to many companies and has great potential for future success as a technopolis due to its high levels of both hard and smart infrastructure, the strength of support available from a variety of local institutions, and the high level of economic activity in potentially innovative industrial and service sectors. However, there are several ways that the university, incubators, and public policies could better support entrepreneurship in the MRC. Specifically, an increase in public and private partnerships as well as greater capitalization options for start-ups are key areas the region could change to provide support for greater diversification of the start-ups in the area and further development of the MRC as a technopolis.
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