New book examines key ingredients for Brazil’s industrial and economic transition
The accumulation of capacity to implement significant technological innovations at the level of companies and in the economy as a whole is a key ingredient for countries to move to progressively higher levels of industrial development and per capita income. However, Brazil’s industrial and socioeconomic development has been limited, among other factors, by its systemic insufficient capacity to manage and generate relevant innovations in existing technologies or to develop new technologies.
It was in this context that Paulo Negreiros Figueiredo, a professor at Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (FGV EBAPE), wrote a 624-page study titled “Technological Capacity and Innovation: Challenges for Brazil’s Industrial and Economic Transition,” published by FGV Press.
The objective is to help overcome Brazil’s systemic lack of technological capacity for significant innovations. This insufficient capacity to innovate is reflected in multiple areas: in the country’s high production costs, in the low added value of its exports, in its increasingly insignificant technological contribution to the world, in its worrying status as a mere passive user of imported technologies, in the public sector’s weak response to the public’s demands and in anachronistic practices in everyday routines in many economic activities.
To achieve this objective, the study initially dissects Brazil’s efforts in terms of spending on science, technology and innovation, based on a detailed international comparison, over the last 20 years. It then critically reflects on some of the country’s results from these efforts. This examination is preceded by an overview of the role of technological capacity and innovation in economic growth and development. After this examination, the book offers practical recommendations for building a national strategy for accumulating technological capacity for innovation.
According to the author, Brazil has a new opportunity, which should not be thrown away, to identify key issues and to carefully design and implement strategies to overcome the country’s technological backwardness and effectively boost innovation in order to add more value to production.
The book offers detailed evidence, critical reflection and inputs for improving debate and public policies aimed at the development of innovative technological capabilities, to help Brazil’s economy become more industrially advanced and above all achieve higher income per capita.
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