Pathways to Technological Catching Up: Relationship University- Business Relations in Brazil
GUIMARAES SONIA K.
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
BRAZIL, INNOVATION, TECHNOLOGICAL CATCHING UP, UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY RELATIONS
Insofar as knowledge and innovation are considered key to economic growth, universities have been called to collaborate with the productive sector in order to contribute to transform scientific knowledge into technological development, aiming at the development of the companies’ innovative capacity. In the case of countries like Brazil, the university-company relationship becomes still more important, due to the companies’ low capacity to absorb the knowledge to produce higher level innovations. The paper presents preliminary results of a research in process that investigates university-firms relationships considering eight Brazilian universities located in the south and southeast regions of the country that are characterized by the presence of technological parks and incubators acknowledged as having satisfactory performance. The preliminary data analysis indicates an increasing number of research groups collaborating with companies, in all fields. However, despite the increase in the numbers of research groups maintaining external interactions, the data suggest that the impact of those relationships on the economic sector innovative performance would be not significant. The article main conclusion is that state incentives through laws and other public measures cannot, by themselves, overcome unfavorable features that are present in society.