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Suggested Citation:"3 Brazil." National Research Council. 2010. S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12920.


Brazil is the economic leader of the South American countries, with a strong financial and industrial base and substantial natural resource wealth. It regards S&T development as a central and critical element for strengthening national security and reaching its goal of becoming a world economic power while improving social equality. Brazil is currently energy independent and is supporting its development through taxation rather than debt issuance, but government investment in S&T infrastructure is currently a relatively small percentage of GDP, and its industry has been slow to engage in basic research, support research in universities, and employ S&T personnel with advanced degrees. Its challenges in S&T stem from a growing but insufficient number of S&T qualified personnel, limited interest in S&T among university students, relatively little engagement between industry and universities, and a business culture that lacks enthusiasm for the highly valued innovation/commercialization cycle of leading S&T countries. Current strengths lie in the energy sector (nuclear, oil, and biofuels) and the agricultural sector (food production and export). Energy leadership is likely to continue. Major military activities, which are supported by communication and space initiatives, are the surveillance and protection of the country’s border and natural resources.


Brazil holds a unique position in the world today—it is a rapidly advancing member of the group of so-called BRIC emerging countries, but it is the only one without nuclear weapons (Wilson and Purushothaman, 2003). Like the United States, it is a young country and therefore does not have millennia of cultural history as do India and China. Brazil’s leaders intend to fully position the country as a world economic power and have specifically chosen to develop its S&T capabilities as a pathway to economic health and success. The recent discovery and drilling for oil off the coast of Brazil has provided both energy independence and a major boost to gross national product and S&T spending. Most of Brazil’s S&T efforts are directed toward economic expansion and commercialization, with improvements in military capabilities and effectiveness representing only one component of the plans to support the economic health and integration as a global leader of the country.

With nearly 200 million inhabitants, Brazil is the fifth most populated country in the world. Its population is relatively young: 49 percent is under the age of 29 years, and the median age is 28.6 years. Brazil also ranks fifth globally in terms of land area. Nevertheless, it ranks only tenth globally in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) (CIA, 2009).

Suggested Citation:"3 Brazil." National Research Council. 2010. S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12920.

Brazil experienced instability as it transitioned from a colony of Portugal to a monarchy and finally to a federal republic of 26 states. However, the country has enjoyed considerable political stability within recent years. President Lula da Silva has followed a path of fiscal prudence during his tenure, which has contributed to Brazil’s recent rapid economic growth.

Brazil is considered by many in its S&T community to be experiencing a golden moment for development of its S&T environment. Within South America, Brazil is the S&T leader and has one of the most advanced industrial sectors. It is a global leader in agricultural research, deep-sea oil production, and remote sensing. Additionally, its economy benefits from a strong manufacturing base supported by a wealth of indigenous resources and commodities. Brazil’s competitive assets include an abundance of natural resources, an extensive and growing domestic commercial market, a well-developed financial market, and a diversified and sophisticated business sector. However, macroeconomic stability, efficiency of goods and labor markets, and the institutional environment continue to be ranked poorly.

Brazil faces a host of social problems, but a growing sense of optimism and a national commitment to development appear to be empowering a substantial segment of the population. Education, particularly in the sciences and engineering, is seen as an opportunity for personal advancement as well as a way to contribute to a positive national movement. However, Brazil’s youth have not gravitated to S&T education in substantial numbers to date (Pacheco, 2010). With its optimism and its base of natural and financial resources, Brazil is building an S&T innovation environment that, although not yet time proven, is effectively advancing the country on the global stage.


Brazil’s primary objective is to gain and hold a position as one of the world’s leading economic powers. It is recognized that this objective can only be realized in the long term by also becoming one of the world’s leaders in science and technology. Much of the country’s current economic strength is a result of its well-established and diverse industrial base and its endowment of natural resources including minerals, hydropower, and hydrocarbons. However, Brazil is lagging in S&T indicators such as global percentage of scientific publications, patents, and percentage of GDP invested in R&D, reflecting a lack of commitment to innovation on the part of industry. It is also recognized that the country must leverage more than its natural resources to achieve economic leadership and security. Key focus areas for S&T investment are energy, defense, development of natural resources (including agriculture), strengthening of industrial innovation, and collaboration between universities and industry.

Analyst expectations are for government programs and initiatives to pay off in the medium term. Some progress is occurring already, as multinationals are attracted to Brazil’s inexpensive yet effective engineering workforce. For example, the agribusiness giants Monsanto and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. have major branches and Ford Motor Company is establishing an important engineering facility in Brazil. The country is beginning to overtake Germany, Italy, and the United States as a destination for multinationals looking to establish S&T facilities.

The government of Brazil began to attend to the issues of S&T competitiveness about two decades ago, and it recently initiated a well-focused effort in the 2007-2010 Action Plan on Science, Technology and Innovation for National Development (PACTI). This plan specifically addresses key S&T deficiencies, including the lack of industry investment in S&T, lack of scientists and engineers employed by industry, limited commercialization of knowledge, and limited expertise in key technology areas. The PACTI’s four priorities are (1) expansion and consolidation of the national S&T innovation enterprise, (2) promotion of technology innovation in companies, (3) R&D in strategic areas, and (4) S&T for social development. Furthermore, the PACTI targets the following strategic areas of research (MCT, 2007):

  • Information and communication technologies

  • Health supplies

  • Biofuels

  • Electrical power, hydrogen, and renewable energy

  • Oil, gas, and coal

  • Agribusiness

Suggested Citation:"3 Brazil." National Research Council. 2010. S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12920.
  • Biodiversity and natural resources

  • The Amazon and the semi-arid region

  • Weather and climate change

  • Space program

  • Nuclear program

  • National defense and public safety (Ministry of Science and Technology, Brazil (MCT), 2007)

The PACTI goals include an increase in national spending on research, development, and innovation (RD&I) from 1.02 percent of GDP in 2006 to 1.5 percent of GDP in 2010, an increase in private investment in RD&I from 0.51 percent of GDP in 2006 to 0.65 percent of GDP in 2010, substantial increases in scholarships for researchers, and the creation of new technology centers (Erawatch, 2010).

This ambitious plan includes some internationally sensitive areas, such as technologies for launching rockets and satellites and enriching uranium, as well as national control of the biodiversity of the Amazon. As part of a separate initiative, President Lula da Silva, blaming industrialized nations for the “unsustainable patterns of production and consumption,” announced massive new protections for the Amazon during a 2006 United Nations biodiversity meeting (SCBD, 2006). In the plan, 84,000 square miles of the Amazon rain forest (about the size of Kansas) will be declared a protected zone over the next three years. Efficient administration of these natural resources will be advantageous for Brazil, but balancing economic growth and environmental preservation will be a challenge.

With some exceptions, most of the financial support for S&T is not directed toward military applications. Negotiations are currently underway with France to purchase military aircraft and to engage in a major technology transfer, reflecting strong ties between Brazil and France. However, in the most recent call for applications for federal R&D grants, no military-related projects were presented. Instead, interest centered on environmental technologies (advanced water treatment, for example), an area in which Brazil is gaining prominence. Brazil is also placing renewed emphasis on the security of its borders, primarily to protect its natural resources. The United States and other developed nations will soon have to negotiate with the Brazilian government to access these critical resources. Military technologies such as space and sensor applications (cybernetics) and specialized vehicles (naval and multipurpose) are considered critical for boundary protection and monitoring.

The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) created the National Institutes of Science and Technology (abbreviated as INCT, for Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia), which are located in 16 different states in Brazil and function as a national S&T network. The institutes were funded with approximately $330 million in investments, a record amount for research funding in Brazil (Erawatch, 2010). The government spends a relatively small percentage of GDP on S&T plans; however, its strategy is to work within its financial means rather than to go into debt.

A key deficiency in Brazil’s S&T enterprise, recognized by its government, is a multi-component gap between academia and industry. Enhancement of academic programs and support for graduate education have not translated into integration of either ideas or graduates into industry. Because industry invests little in R&D, either in house or in academia, Brazil must depend on other countries for the importation of innovation. The 2007-2010 PACTI attempts to address these key deficiencies, but it is not clear that the government programs will foster self-sustaining investment policies by industry.

In an effort to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign innovation, the Brazilian government has created more than 30 incentives for businesses to invest in innovation. Although only about 70 companies utilized these programs when they were first introduced in 2006, the number increased to 500 by 2008, and further increases are anticipated. The incentives fall into three main categories: support for technical expertise, research grants to nonprofit facilities, and funding provided for commercial development in strategic areas (such as light aircraft, conventional energy sources, renewable energy, and nanotechnology). Approximately $3 billion in nonreimbursable funds and tax credits has been provided over a four-year period (Erawatch, 2010).

Another area in which Brazil has made recent investments in order to reduce its dependence on imported innovation is medical biotechnology. Both private and government-controlled entities are engaged in meeting the large demand for health products for Brazil’s nearly 200 million people, many of whom live in poverty. Recent industry involvement in public-sector efforts to accelerate health product innovation and provision has resulted in

Suggested Citation:"3 Brazil." National Research Council. 2010. S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12920.

significant developments, but obstacles such as the limited investment in original R&D, the government’s view of health-related costs as expenditures rather than investments, and the reluctance to promote competitively priced pharmaceuticals in international markets continue to discourage investment in biotechnology innovation (Rezaie et al., 2008). Nevertheless, Brazil’s ability to respond effectively to epidemics and other threats has improved greatly as a result of these and other initiatives in the biological sciences.

Brazil suffers from a shortage of engineers and scientists. There are many scientists in the country, but most are employed within the university system. In response to this problem, Brazil is attempting to strengthen ties between industry and academia to engage professors directly in industrial development. The government currently runs a program that pays half the salaries of Ph.D. researchers for their first three years of employment in industry. The salaries are competitive, ranging from $6,000 to $7,000 per month for half time (Erawatch, 2010; Grynszpan, 2010). Although efforts to understand and enhance internal capabilities are underway, there are no organized efforts to attract experts from other countries. In the medium term, however, there may be attempts to accelerate development of specific technology areas through the employment of outside experts.1

Although a full evaluation of the success of the 2007-2010 PACTI is not available at this time, it is reported that a significant quantity of government grants, loans, scholarships, salary support, and other instruments of the plan have been strategically placed. The key challenge in this effort is for the country to make the transition from government-supported efforts to self-supporting and sustainable activity by industry.


The current S&T strategic plan for 2007-2010 is nearing completion, and, as mentioned above, there is no assessment yet as to its effectiveness. The committee found no plan extending beyond 2010, and the nature of future planning will likely be affected by general elections for the country’s leadership, now slated for October 2010. Current goals target the major deficiencies, and it is reasonable to assume that future areas of focus will be consistent with previous ones. It is not clear how quickly Brazil can make the necessary transition to industry-supported S&T research and investment. Industry seems to lack the motivation and cultural framework to invest in R&D.

Electricity consumption in Brazil has grown substantially since 1990 and is projected to continue to grow, making domestic energy production a key security issue. Brazil has already met its previous goal of attaining net-zero oil imports; down from importing 70 percent in the mid-1980s. Current estimated oil reserves of 30-80 billion barrels place Brazil within the top 10 countries in reserve capacity. Nearly three-quarters of the country’s electrical energy is produced by hydropower, and plant-derived ethanol accounts for more than 50 percent of its fuel usage. Brazil’s energy reserves, tapped by robust offshore drilling activities, also feed into its national strategies for economic, energy, and technological independence, in turn positioning the country for greater development in S&T infrastructure and for strong relationships with other countries.

Brazil’s academic research base is well developed and able to propel the nation to a high level of technological proficiency. In spite of this, a current shortfall in talent, due in part to the emigration of many members of the urban educated class during Brazil’s economic crises in the 1980s (Antico, 1998), lays doubt as to the country’s ability to gain leadership positions in some of the new research areas (e.g., nanotechnology) introduced in recent plans. Nuclear and space programs are also strong, although Brazil has yet to launch its own spacecraft.

Some international companies are increasing their R&D investments in Brazil, but it is less clear how long it will take for indigenous companies to change their culture and place emphasis on innovation and research. Significant improvement of innovation and research can be expected within a five-year timeframe.


To achieve its larger goal of economic leadership, Brazil is striving for total energy independence and for control and preservation of its natural resources. Brazil is reinforcing its role as a global leader in agricultural


Personal communication from Valter Pieracciani, CEO and managing partner of Pieracciani, São Paulo, Brazil, to committee member Paul Gailey on January 6, 2010. See for more information.

Suggested Citation:"3 Brazil." National Research Council. 2010. S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12920.

production of both fuel and food for international export. Finally, Brazil has made considerable investments in satellite and space exploration technology, and it is developing military applications for many of its major S&T innovations, particularly for use in overcoming domestic security issues.


Hydrocarbon-rich Brazil both prioritizes and attracts investment in technological R&D into the exploration, production, and transport of oil and natural gas. In particular, Brazil has invested heavily in and is recognized as a world leader in deep-water and ultra deep-water drilling. Brazil announced in early 2008 the discovery of two oil fields off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, which are estimated to hold between 30 billion and 80 billion barrels. Output from both existing and new fields could make Brazil a significant oil exporter by 2015. However, current production from drilling is outpacing refining capacity, and some crude oil must still be traded for refined oil. Brazil aims to increase its refining capacity from 1.9 million barrels of crude oil per day (BPD) to 3 million BPD by 2020 (U.S. DOE, 2009). A research program for the production and clean use of coal is also in development.

Brazil’s initiatives in electrical power, hydrogen, and renewable energy sources include developing new technologies for the generation, transmission, distribution, and use of electrical energy; consolidating programs for a hydrogen economy; and implementing plans for renewable energies. Hydroelectric, wind, solar, biogas, and biomass hold the most potential for development.

Brazil leads the world in biofuel exports, and, after three decades of refining methods to produce ethanol from sugarcane, it provides 42 percent of global ethanol. The leftover fiber (bagasse) is also used in the processing of heat and power, yielding a very high rate of energy output per input. Brazil’s leadership role in renewable energy, biofuels, and other environmental activities have helped position it as a major player in setting global environmental policies.

In 1975 the government adopted a policy of nuclear self-sufficiency and signed an agreement with West Germany for the supply of eight 1,300-megawatt (MWe) nuclear units over 15 years. Two were to be built immediately with equipment from Siemens-KWU, and six were to be built with 90 percent Brazilian content under a technology transfer agreement. Brazil’s two commercial nuclear power reactors began operations in 1982, and a third is under construction at the time of this writing. Construction and operation of nuclear power plants is conducted by the state-owned company Eletronuclear, which hopes to add up to 8 gigawatts (GWe) of new nuclear capacity by 2030. The government hopes to have 60 GWe of nuclear capacity installed by 2060 (IAEA, 2004; WNA, 2009).

Biological Resources

In recognition of its unique and rich land area, which includes the Amazon basin, Brazil is focusing significant effort on maintaining its biodiversity and other natural resources. It emphasizes mechanisms for protecting biodiversity, environmental protection, managing the knowledge base for biodiversity, and developing and refining products. Despite these intentions, the country still suffers a steady loss of rain forest in the Amazon basin, a problem it has not yet been able to solve as agriculture expands into the region. Brazil is also consolidating a research program in Antarctica.

Although Brazil is already a global leader in agribusiness, it seeks to increase its technical knowledge base and to maintain and increase its competitive capacity by further developing dietary and nutritional safety initiatives such as quality foods and functional foods, increasing agricultural automation, supporting R&D for innovative production systems, and increasing international links for agribusiness RD&I.


Brazil entered the space age in 1973 with the launching of the SONDA II rocket, part of a program to determine electron density in the low ionosphere, which is a question of practical importance for aircraft navigation (Filho, 2008). Brazil’s space program is active and well supported. Its goals are to develop space technologies that benefit Brazilians, such as those that provide answers about environment and global climate change; enhance

Suggested Citation:"3 Brazil." National Research Council. 2010. S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12920.

surveillance of national territory, the study of natural resources, and air traffic control; and establish a space infrastructure including a launch center.

Military Science and Technology Plans2

The overarching theme of the Brazilian military strategy is to focus on capacities rather than on enemies. Plans for military growth and development are therefore closely aligned with the general plans for science, technology, and innovation (ST&I) discussed above. Brazil strives to further its security and economic well-being by stimulating and supporting the integration of Brazil with other South American countries. To promote these objectives, the military focuses on advancing capabilities and leadership in nuclear technology, the space sector, and cybernetics.

The military plans to utilize nuclear energy to power submarines that will be deployed to protect the oil platforms along the country’s coastlines. Furthermore, the military considers nuclear energy to be a backup source of energy to existing hydroelectric power, which makes it critical to the country’s energy independence and security. Plans call for the development of technologies to locate and mine uranium and to employ nuclear power for various applications (IAEA, 2004).

Monitoring Brazil’s vast territory is best accomplished through satellite technology. The military expects to develop the capability to design, construct, and launch satellites into low and high and geostationary orbits. Priorities in this area include the development of launch vehicles, inertial guidance systems, remote sensing instrumentation, geographical mapping systems, and control systems. Efforts are also underway to address the special needs of the military in protecting this vast territory, including the development of multi-purpose ships that can operate in rivers or oceans and have platforms for helicopter operations.

Brazil’s leaders consider cybernetic technology to be critical to the support of both military and civilian communications. Brazil aims to facilitate intercommunication between defense forces and with space vehicles, and to protect and defend the resources within the vast Brazilian territory through advanced methods of monitoring and information gathering.

Military planners in Brazil recognize the importance of supporting both basic research and applied, technology-oriented research, which may not yield economic benefits in the near to medium term. The military intends to work with industry to develop productive capacity for defense materials.


Traditional S&T indicators depict Brazil as a country with a growing economy but low levels of innovation (see Figure 2-1 for a comparison of Brazil’s performance on common S&T indicators to those of the other JBRICS countries). Brazil’s global standing is rapidly improving according to overall S&T indicators, but its standing is still relatively minor according to traditional indicators such as percentage of world scientific publications (2.1 percent), percentage of GDP invested in RD&I (1.2 percent), percentage of GDP invested in RD&I by industry (0.51 percent), and world patents (0.2 percent). In order to gauge the speed and direction of Brazil’s S&T growth, indicators should be chosen that accurately monitor changes in the following areas:

  • Industry involvement in the national S&T enterprise

  • Development of capabilities in satellite launch and operation

  • Availability of industry jobs for Ph.D. graduates

  • Government and industry financing for research

  • Integration and collaboration with other South American countries


Information obtained from December 18, 2008, memo to the President of the Republic of Brazil from Nelson A. Jobim, Minister of State for Defense, and Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Minister of State of the Strategic Affairs Secretariat of the Presidency. Available at Last accessed February 20, 2010.

Suggested Citation:"3 Brazil." National Research Council. 2010. S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12920.
  • Academic publications and patents

Industry Involvement in S&T

Brazil’s comparatively low innovation rate is due to a variety of interwoven factors, from the high cost and risky nature of investing in innovation in Brazil to the lack of highly qualified human resources. In addition, compared to the other JBRICS countries, Brazil is a latecomer to the S&TI realm. Over the past decade, however, Brazil has reprioritized ST&I in the public policy agenda. Dramatic changes have been made in the ST&I enterprise, including the establishment of the Science and Technology Sectoral Funds in 1999, which are tools to provide secure ST&I funding using resources from select productive sectors. New laws calling for the convergence of technological and industrial policies and for the enhancement of ties between industry and universities in carrying out R&D have also helped to shape Brazil’s efforts to make innovation a policy priority. At the forefront of this reprioritization is the Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (Financier of Studies and Projects), or FINEP, a public firm under the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology established in 1967 to encourage and mobilize ST&I research in businesses, universities, technological institutes, research centers, and other public or private institutions. FINEP provides grants for innovative projects through the National Fund for Science and Technology, and it serves as a bank, issuing loans to firms investing in innovation.

Satellite Capabilities

Brazilian space researchers and the air force, with Russian expertise, are developing a satellite transport rocket. Brazil hopes to launch the rocket in 2011, confirming its ambition to join China and Russia as a top emerging economy with its own space program. The Brazilian Space Agency already has conducted successful tests of one of the rocket’s engines. This success underscores the agency’s determination to fulfill its mission, despite a 2003 accident that killed 21 Brazilian technicians and engineers and destroyed the launch structure.

Higher Education and Jobs

Brazil’s academic base has grown significantly during the past 10 years, as the number of master’s and Ph.D. degrees has grown about 12 percent per year (MCT, 2007). In 2007, 10,000 doctoral degrees were awarded, and the nation hoped to reach 16,000 by 2010 (MCT, 2007). However, this number is considered insufficient for the country’s developmental needs, and consequently more emphasis is being placed on strategic sectors such as engineering and other areas developing future trends. The problem is exacerbated by an apparent lack of industry jobs for Ph.D.s within the country. Although there were an estimated 200,000 researchers in Brazil in 2008, fewer than 10 percent of them were employed by industry (Pacheco, 2010). This number can be compared to the nearly 800,000 scientists employed by industry in the United States (Pacheco, 2010). An increase in private-sector employment of researchers would indicate an improved environment for domestic innovation and would bode well for continued growth in the number of students pursuing degrees in S&T fields.

Government and Industry R&D Expenditures

Government R&D expenditures in 1994 amounted to $664 million. Furthermore, Brazilian businesses invest only a small percentage of GDP in R&D activities (0.51 percent in 2005)—less than their counterparts in more advanced countries. This lackluster performance is reflected in the World Economic Forum’s index of world competitiveness for 2009/2010, in which Brazil was ranked 56th out of 125 countries, ahead of Russia but behind India (49th) and China (29th) (Sala-i-Martin and the World Economic Forum, 2009). In spite of this, Brazil has made substantial economic gains and is expected to benefit more from the current global recession than any other country surveyed in this report (EC, 2008).

Suggested Citation:"3 Brazil." National Research Council. 2010. S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12920.

Regional S&T Integration

In 1985, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela created a regional trade pact, Mercosur, of which five other Latin American countries (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) are associate members. Closer technological cooperation and a common desire to boost innovation were central to this bid for regional integration. These 10 neighbors have created cooperative programs for ST&I, promoting links between research institutions and private companies. A key issue arising from discussions about innovation is how to better transfer knowledge between universities and research centers on the one hand, and private companies—in which R&D activities are still limited in Latin America—on the other. The concern is that most of the knowledge produced by research institutions stays on the shelf and has little impact on society. Of all the Latin American nations, Brazil has done the most to address this concern through its forward-thinking policies to promote innovation.

Academic Publications and Patents

In terms of academic outcomes, in 2008 Brazil ranked 13th in the world in numbers of published scientific works. From 1981 to 2006 the number of articles published in international journals increased by 8.9 percent per year (compared to a global increase of 2 percent per year). The accumulated increase in publications by Brazilian scientists was approximately 232 percent, compared to the world average of 73 percent. In 2005, Brazil ranked 13th in nations applying for patents, compared to China (3rd) and India (11th). That same year, the number of patents originating in Brazil decreased by 13.8 percent from the previous year, while those in China increased by 32.9 percent and those in India increased by 1.3 percent (Embassy of Brazil, 2009).


Brazil holds an important position globally. In addition to the fact that most of the world’s rain forests lie within its borders and it plays a leadership role in global ecological activities, Brazil is richly endowed with natural resources, including both hydrocarbons and renewable energy sources. Growing overall populations and middle classes in some of the world’s most populated countries are resulting in increasing demand and pressure on resources such as energy, water, food, and minerals. Brazil is succeeding in using S&T to leverage its natural resources to help supply these needs while improving its own economic health.

Finding 3-1. Brazil’s current and likely continuing energy independence places it in a unique and important global position, less easily influenced than other countries by the United States. It is therefore important that the United States foster a productive relationship with Brazil, which is currently the leader and key to South America.

Brazil’s current wealth and success result in part from its endowment of natural resources, strong industrial sector, and prudent fiscal policies. However, the country recognizes that continued success depends strongly on the assumption by industry of a larger role in R&D and the translation of academic knowledge to wealth. Brazil’s future position on the global stage depends on this step.

Recommendation 3-1. The United States should accelerate strengthening a productive relationship with Brazil, which is the leader and key to South American S&T. To this end, the United States should consider working with Brazil in critical areas such as building its national S&T innovation environment.

Finding 3-2. Brazil is in the process of securing its borders against unauthorized use and study of its bio-resources, which represent a wealth of biological, agricultural, pharmaceutical, and medical applications.

Recommendation 3-2. The United States should maintain a cooperative relationship with Brazil that provides for appropriate U.S. access to Brazil’s resources.

Suggested Citation:"3 Brazil." National Research Council. 2010. S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12920.

Finding 3-3. Brazil’s leadership roles in deep-water drilling, biofuels, and other biotechnology-related and agricultural enterprises are likely to increase in importance in the coming years. In an increasingly multi-polar world, Brazil represents an important political partner for the United States. Its military is oriented toward non-aggressive goals, and it is becoming a prominent member of the global community as its importance in the Western Hemisphere increases. Other developed countries are increasing, and will likely continue to increase, their assistance to Brazil in the near term.

Recommendation 3-3. Because Brazil is a global leader in technology fields that are important to U.S. security and energy interests and because it engages with Russia, China, and Iran, among other countries, the United States should monitor and evaluate Brazil’s international partnerships.



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EC (European Commission). 2008. Internationalisation of R&D—Facing the Challenge of Globalisation: Approaches to a Proactive International Policy in S&T. Country Report Brazil: An Analysis of EU-Brazilian Cooperation. CREST OMC Working Group Report. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. Available at Last accessed April 19, 2010.

Embassy of Brazil. 2009. Brazil Ranks 13th among Major Knowledge Producers. Available at Last accessed March 29, 2010.

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Filho, José Monserrat. 2008. Scientific production increases in Brazil. Boletim da Associação dos Diplomatas Brasileiros (Bulletin of the Association of Brazilian Diplomats) 63(Oct/Nov/Dec). ISSN: 0104-8503. Available at Last accessed April 19, 2010.

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MCT (Ministry of Science and Technology, Brazil). 2007. Science, Technology and Innovation for National Development. Action Plan 2007-2010, Summary Document. Available at Last accessed March 29, 2010.

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Grynszpan, Flavio. 2010. Brazil Science, Technology and Innovation Plan for National Development Action Plan 2007-2010. Presentation to the committee on January 21, 2010.

Pacheco, Carlos. 2010. The Brazilian Innovation System Figures and Problems. State University of Campinas (UNICAMP). Presentation to the committee on January 21, 2010.

Suggested Citation:"3 Brazil." National Research Council. 2010. S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12920.
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Suggested Citation:"3 Brazil." National Research Council. 2010. S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12920.
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Suggested Citation:"3 Brazil." National Research Council. 2010. S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12920.
Page 20
Suggested Citation:"3 Brazil." National Research Council. 2010. S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12920.
Page 21
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An increase in global access to goods and knowledge is transforming world-class science and technology (S&T) by bringing it within the capability of an unprecedented number of global parties who must compete for resources, markets, and talent. In particular, globalization has facilitated the success of formal S&T plans in many developing countries, where traditional limitations can now be overcome through the accumulation and global trade of a wide variety of goods, skills, and knowledge. As a result, centers for technological research and development (R&D) are now globally dispersed, setting the stage for greater uncertainty in the political, economic, and security arenas.

These changes will have a potentially enormous impact for the U.S. national security policy, which for the past half century was premised on U.S. economic and technological dominance. As the U.S. monopoly on talent and innovation wanes, arms export regulations and restrictions on visas for foreign S&T workers are becoming less useful as security strategies. The acute level of S&T competition among leading countries in the world today suggests that countries that fail to exploit new technologies or that lose the capability for proprietary use of their own new technologies will find their existing industries uncompetitive or obsolete. The increased access to information has transformed the 1950s' paradigm of "control and isolation" of information for innovation control into the current one of "engagement and partnerships" between innovators for innovation creation. Current and future strategies for S&T development need to be considered in light of these new realities.

This book analyzes the S&T strategies of Japan, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Singapore (JBRICS), six countries that have either undergone or are undergoing remarkable growth in their S&T capabilities for the purpose of identifying unique national features and how they are utilized in the evolving global S&T environment.

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