Networks of innovation in biotechnology: The Brazilian experience | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1474-2748
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0551


This paper examines the extent to which government initiatives in Brazil have been successful in promoting innovative activities in biotechnology both in academia and industry, and also in setting the foundation for the development of the Brazilian Biotechnology Innovation Network (BBINet). The federal government’s role in carrying out these tasks is, however, shown to have been somewhat ambivalent. On the one hand, the government appears to have been reluctant and even wanting in its pursuit of science and technology policy. This is mainly reflected in the instability of government funding for innovation, which is claimed to have contributed to the weakness of the innovation network. In addition, policy has not been operating as a system geared to maximizing the benefits of synergy and the release of Brazil's innovative potential. On the other hand, government policies have been crucial for the emergence and growth of the BBINet. The existence of some programmes and some ‘islands of efficiency’ show that it is possible to establish efficient networks of innovation. Given this evident potential and recent changes in the perception of Brazil's innovation potential in government and academic circles, there are grounds for hope. Realization of this hope is, however, contingent upon the provision of policy stability in lieu of the institutional ‘roller-coaster’ that has been at the heart of Brazil's science policy. It would also depend on the extent of the scope for exploiting synergies between different policy domains that affect innovation.


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