The challenge of innovation

brasilobserver - Nov 18 2015
Armando Monteiro, Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, during the seminar ‘Innovate in Brasil’ (Photo: Divulgation)

(Leia em Português)


Attract multinational companies interested in introducing Research and Development centres (R&D) in Brazil. This was the key point of the seminar ‘Innovate in Brasil’, held in October in London, attended by Brazil’s Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC, in Portuguese), Armando Monteiro.

Promoted by MDIC in partnership with the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brazil), the event was organized by the Telegraph Business Events and brought together top executives of multinational companies, among them Richard Moore, from BG Group, whose Global Technology Centre is located in Rio de Janeiro.

“All the key elements for innovation are in Brazil,” said Moore in one of the discussion groups on case studies in the country. He also said it is necessary to create more connections between start-ups, universities and industry sectors, for innovative projects to be monetized. “It’s important to find ways of collaboration, as there are many companies looking for the same solutions,” he added.

Opening the event, the president of Apex-Brazil, David Barioni Neto, highlighted the Innovate in Brasil program, launched in March this year, which supports investors with interest in installing R&D centres in Brazil in four industrial sectors: renewable energy, technology information and communication, oil and gas and health. Then Armando Monteiro spoke about the country’s efforts in the framework of the Innovation Law and the new Biodiversity Legal Marco, as well as programs such as Inova Empresa – with US$ 10 billion invested – and Start-Up Brazil.

For Armando Monteiro, at a time when “Brazil faces a macroeconomic reformulation, the biggest challenge is to continue strengthening the innovation sector.” In this regard, the minister appreciated the fact that the country has significantly increased the number of university students in recent years, in addition to the fact that today Brazil has 900 companies in 42 technology centres.

The fiscal adjustment, according to Monteiro, intends to give predictability to market players and thus generate the necessary incentives for the return of economic growth. Good news at this moment is the accumulated surplus of the trade balance until October, up to US$ 12 billion dollars, as well as the forecast for 2016, US$ 16 billion, and foreign exchange reserves of US$ 370 billion. Monteiro said the stimulus should come primarily under the new phase of the logistics program, the new electricity program and the national export plan.

Among other topics discussed at the event were the overcoming of fossil fuels, the need to create smart cities (with infrastructure for all) and the urgent need to develop innovative ways for joint work between governments and the private sector.