Companies and Industrial Research

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According to the study of the 13th edition of Global Innovation 1000, performed by Strategy&, a strategic consultancy of PwC, released in November 2017, Brazil, once again, had four representatives on the list of the world’s one thousand companies that invested the most in R&D. The survey presents the one thousand publically traded companies the invested the most in research and innovation during the fiscal year ended on June 30, 2017.

The four Brazilian companies in the ranking invested US$ 1,212 million in R&D in 2017, as against US$ 1.29 million in R&D in 2016. You can access the study of the 13th edition of Global Innovation 1000, here.

According to the sixth edition of the Valor Inovação Brasil 2020 Yearbook, produced by the Valor Econômico newspaper in partnership with PwC Strategy & Consultancy, Natura, in the cosmetics sector, was ranked as the most innovative company in the nation, followed by Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, in second place, and by aviation giant Embraer, in third place (after leading the ranking in 2019).

Among the German companies that invest in research in Brazil, the highlights are Siemens, Bosch, and Bayer. After over 100 years in Brazil, Siemens now operates seven research, development, and non-routine engineering centers. The company has invested in bringing educational and research institutions closer together. With its four thousand square meters, the R&D center for petroleum, natural gas, and energy distribution, for example, is installed in the Technology Park of Ilha do Fundão, on the campus of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). In the city of Curitiba, Siemens operates its R&D center for smart grid solutions in the Technology Park of the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná – Tecnoparque (PUC-PR). The R&D centers are dedicated to studies of smart grids, transformers, HVDC, sugar and alcohol, Oil&gas.

Bosch maintains two research centers in the cities of Campinas and Curitiba, with a total of 400 engineers working on research and development in Brazil, and 367 employees are in the area of mobility solutions, focusing on biofuels and energy efficiency. Bayer invests about 11% of its global revenues, annually, in R&D, so that solutions are discovered and developed to meet the needs of rural producers. The company currently has an experimental station in the city of Paulínia, São Paulo, with 96 employees, where studies and tests are performed on active ingredients (molecules) sent by the company’s headquarters, for developing agricultural pesticides. In the laboratories, work is done with a focus on areas related to agronomic development for the protection of crops, product security, seeds, Bayer SeedGrowth™ Center, environmental health, monitoring resistance of fungicides, herbicides and insecticides, and application technologies. In 2017, the Crop Science, which has 5,174 R&D professionals, invested € 1,166 million in R&D, worldwide. In 2018, Bayer AG plans to invest € 4.1 billion in R&D.

IBM is another company that has invested in several frontiers of human knowledge, especially through heavy investments in its R&D units. The company has more than 3,000 scientists distributed throughout its 12 R&D centers, worldwide, two of which have been operating in Brazil since 2011, one in Rio de Janeiro and the other in São Paulo. In 2017, IBM began the activities of its NanoLab in the Rio de Janeiro R&D center, in which it will concentrate its initiatives and partnerships on the areas of health, agribusiness, and petroleum/natural gas.

A technical note presented in December 2016 by the Applied Economics Research Institute (IPEA) – based on data from the Innovation Study (PINTEC) 2014 of the IBGE –shows that the efforts of Brazilian companies saw a significant drop during the period. Industry’s spending in R&D fell 0.67% compared to 2011. The innovation rate had a total revenue drop of 2.12%.

Despite the lower investments, the annual ranking of the 50 Most Innovative Companies 2016 revealed that Brazil is keeping up with some of the worldwide trends in innovation, like the use of tools and data sources for identifying external innovation opportunities. While the global average use of Big Data is 55%, in Brazil 63% of the companies used data on a large scale. However, only 47% of Brazilian companies use those data to provide materials for innovation, while worldwide, the average is 57%.

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