The Brazilian government will be creating a National Innovation Policy (NIP) with key objectives to be achieved in the Latin country for the next ten years.
A consultation has been launched by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC) with the aim of collecting comments and suggestions over the next 40 days.
The NIP is intended to foster the development of new technologies focused on improving the economy and delivery of public services.
An initial body of proposals guiding the plan includes expanding research infrastructure, streamlining the patenting process and encouraging open scientific knowledge available on digital platforms.
In addition, the government also wants to promote the creation and development of startups, foster the ecosystem of Brazilian creators and developers, as well as more private sector investment in research and development.
According to the MCTIC, the idea is to “guide, orchestrate and accelerate efforts in science, technology and entrepreneurship” to boost the quality of life for individuals and boost business productivity and for “a more harmonious relationship with the planet. “
The government downplayed the challenges around innovation in Brazil, saying that barriers are “relatively low.” The Ministry added there is a number of shortcomings around how efforts from the various actors in the ecosystem are organized, especially when it comes to the production of knowledge in universities and its application in companies.
Lack of funding is something that was acknowledged in the text around the consultation. However, the MCTIC pointed out that the issue is to do with the concentration of resources in public institutions, unlike in richer countries, where contributions come mainly from businesses.
Earlier this year, former ministers have warned cuts in public funding for science and technology in Brazil would undermine the overall development of the national economy as well as the country’s international competitiveness.
“Brazilian companies innovate very little compared to international standards in advanced countries – a fact that is reflected in the very limited participation in international patent filings,” the text in the consultation launched for the NIP noted. “Most of the innovations carried out are related to importing and adapting technology from other countries.”
The Brazilian government aims to address these challenges with a series of guidelines, such as “spreading a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship,” as well as fostering technological development and improving the legal environment.
According to this year’s edition of the Global Innovation Index, published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in partnership with business school Insead and Cornell University, Brazil ranks 66th on a list of 129 countries, behind all the BRIC nations and down two positions from 2018.
Brazil has seen a consistent decline in the GII ranking, hovering around the 60th and 70th position over the last decade.