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Brazil offers excellent opportunities in the fields of research, and innovation. Its universities, research institutes, agents, and funding institutions open their doors to those who are interested in being involved in research and innovation in the country.

A variety of players are conducting Research, Development and Innovation in Brazil. The nation’s principle government institutions are its public universities, institutes of technology, agencies that foment research and, more recently, Brazil’s Non-profit for Industrial Research and Innovation Embrapii.  

Also involved in the innovation scenario in Brazil are business incubators, technology parks, private investors, companies and such systems as the National Industrial Apprenticeship Service (SENAI) in its innovation institutes, as well as the Brazilian Support Service for Micro and Small Enterprises (SEBRAE).

Research in Brazil

Research conducted in Brazil is concentrated in universities and other federal or state institutions. Currently, there are 304 public and 2,153 private higher education institutions in the country. All together, they can be subdivided into 203 universities, 322 university centers, 1,892 colleges, and 40 federal institutes of education, science and technology and federal centers for technological education. At least 482 of these institutions offered distance-learning undergraduate courses in 2020. The data are included in the Census of Higher Education 2020 and were released by the Ministry of Education (MEC) and the Anísio Teixeira National Institute of Educational Studies and Research (INEP) in February 2022.

In July 2021, the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MCTI) launched the National Innovation Policy, focusing on the period from 2021 to 2024, which presents thematic plans for the years 2021 and 2022. Innovation activities were classified under six categories:

National Innovation Policy 

  1. Expansion of professional qualification through technological training of human resources;
  2. Alignment and safeguard the promotion of innovation;
  3. Stimulation of technological knowledge bases for innovation;
  4. Stimulation of market development for innovative products and services;
  5. Dissemination of a culture of innovation;
  6. Protection of knowledge. 

An Innovation Chamber was also created, whose function is to structure and guide the operations of instruments and processes necessary for the implementation of an innovation policy. Representatives of the Executive Office of the President of Brazil and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (MRE), Defence (MD), Economy (ME), Education, Health (MS), Mines and Energy (MME), Regional Development (MDR), Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), Communications (MCom) and Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Mapa). 

The strategy, composed of objectives, goals and initiatives, organizes government priorities and forms the basis for the elaboration of action plans. As highlighted by the MCTI, these new guidelines seek to increase the cohesion, synergy, and effectiveness of policies focusing on innovation that previously occurred in isolation within the different ministries. 

According to the decree that instituted the National Innovation Policy, the actions included in the plans seek to meet the demands of the ecosystem, such as encouraging private investment in innovation; support for startups and open innovation initiatives; and programs to support the structuring technologies in such areas as agriculture, renewable energies, space, and others. 

The document also provides for the review of higher education curricula for the purpose of promoting a more practical, entrepreneurial and interdisciplinary approach to the development of entrepreneurship and innovation. 

The strategy sets out its main objectives and areas of activity between 2021 and 2024, providing means for them to be reviewed every two years. There are also employment goals in the areas of innovation, quantity objectives in technical and undergraduate courses, incentives for innovative cultures, and consolidation of RD&I data.