Friday, July 21, 2006

IDB supports technological innovation in Brazil

(Source Article: Enhancing technological innovation in Brazil - Inter-American Development Bank)

Prioritization of technological advances in Brazil has been the focus of the work by Financiadora de Estudos e Projeto's (FINEP); advances in technology are crucial to a country’s economy staying ahead in the global community: new technology often creates new jobs in the economy and stimulates consumer spending. Experts in the United States have stressed importance of students majoring in fields such as math and science in order for such innovation to continue. In Brazil, the same message is being pushed by FINEP, and as a result Brazil has placed a greater importance on science and technology innovation in its public policy agenda.

However, despite progress being made, Brazil’s innovation rate is still low compared to other countries, producing about 1.7% of international knowledge, compared to the 8-9% produced by the UK, for example. In light of this, the legal framework and funding dynamics surrounding science, technology and innovation in the country have undergone a serious overhaul in order to provide innovators a friendlier climate.

In 2006, government grants and loans totaling US$ 560 million were given to FINEP for the purpose of encouraging and mobilizing scientific and technological research in universities and other private institutions. Additionally, in cooperation with the Inter-American Development Bank, FINEP created the Inovar Project in 2000, a financial mechanism geared toward supporting the creation of high-tech start-up companies throughout the country. Together, the IDB and FINEP hope to improve Brazil’s position in the global economy. (see Developing an institutional structure for technology in Brazil)

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