Last week I followed the Finnish policy, education, research and business delegation visit to Brazil. I already concluded the first two days in my earlier blog post where higher minister level discussions and early state agreements were made. It was not that easy to acquire information from last days of the visit as it included some face-to-face discussions with business delegation, which might include some trade secrets. However, I will discuss later this week with my ex-colleague from Finpro, my colleague from Finnish Technical Research Centre (VTT), and one professor from Aalto University to get more detailed insight of the visit. As I have promised to supervise one Master’s degree focusing on Brazil in Aalto University School of Economics, where I am doing my PhD, I hope I will also gain some insight from Finnish companies that took part for visit, such as Kemira, Vaisala, Deltamarin, GS-Hydro, Almaco, Vacon and Wärtsilä. Some other Finnish participants were Chempolic, Cleantech Oy, Finnvera, and Tekes, Hubconcepts. I will uppdate this during next weeks.

There was also interesting discussion in Twitter concerning the delegation visit. One of my favourite comments was this:

By @CelinaRio:

“@Tatinho @AlexStubb @jensstoltenberg @Exportradet @DenmarkinUSA NORDIC countries as one unit, not 4, might better develop BR relationship.”

and by @alexstubb:

“On my way home after five fantastic days in Brazil. Long trip, but worth every minute of it. This country simply rocks! #Brazil.”

Here come some conclusions from last two days of the Finnish delegation visit to Brazil:

  • President of Petrobras, Maria das Graças Silva Foster received Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen (Petrobras)
  • 12 Finnish companies visited Telecom operators ViVo in Sao Paulo and Oi in Rio de Janeiro (alexstubb)
  • Finnish companies met with top management of Vale and EBX
  • Innovation seminar on bioeconomy in Sao Paulo organized by UNICA and BRACELPA (Bioen Fapesp and IPT)
  • Visit to Sao Paulo public research organization Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnológicas (IPT) to discuss research cooperation in biomass, bioenergy and naval engineering (IPT)
  • Academy of Finland (AKA) and The State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) assigned an agreement on scientific research cooperation (FAPESP and AKA)

It seems that three major cooperation activities will take place in massive scale between Finland and Brazil in the future. Or is already taking place.

First, is the cooperation in bioeconomy including biomass, bioenergy, water and biodiversity. VTT and Kemira are cooperating in Sao Paulo related to business and research in bioeconomy.

Second, is the cooperation in maritime industry including offshore technologies, naval engineering and oil and gas industries. Finnish companies have been cooperating intensively with Brazilian stakeholders since 2010 and 2011 when Brazilian delegation lead by Petrobras visited Finland. In addition, Finnish Offshore Technology Center (OTC) has strategic focus on Brazil. And Aalto University is cooperating with COPPE/UFRJ in research and education. The future potential of maritime industry in Brazil is well argumented by Finpro:

One half of the major oil discoveries made around the world in the last decade have been in Brazil. By 2015, investments totalling USD 270 billion will be injected into oil production in Brazil, mainly offshore. The nation will become one of the world’s leading oil exporters as the national oil company Petrobras doubles its oil production.

Third, is the mobility of students, researchers and professors between Finland and Brazil. Accordingly, 10 Finnish Universities have bi-lateral agreements to Brazil and “Ciência sem Fronteiras” is the main instrument to accelerate this mobility. Who wants to come to Finland? Who wants to go to Brazil? Vamos!

Those who are interested, can watch the Declaration of Cooperation by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen from Youtube. Viva Brasil, Viva Finlândia!

Advertisements

As I have written in my earlier blog posts, Brazil is becoming every day more interesting country for innovation cooperation. All Nordic countries have realized that! First, biggest ever Norwegian delegation visited Brazil in February 2011.  Second, at the same month Danish delegation visited Brazil to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation in Science, Technology, Innovation and Higher Education. Third, on May 2011 Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt visited “”Sweden’s second largest industrial city” to strengthen relations with Brazil in commerce, research and innovation. And now fourth, Finnish education-research-business delegation of 123 Finns lead by Prime Minister of Finland Jyrki Katainen and Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade of Finland Alexander Stubb are currently visiting Brazil. I have followed the visit from Twitter @EmbFinlandia and Facebook @embaixadafinlandia. Really big thanks already for people in Embaixada da Finlândia no Brasil for democratization of knowledge!

Here comes some conclusions from first two days of the visit:

  • High minister and president level meetings (See picture above of President Dilma Rousseff and Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen)
  • Cooperation between Finland and Brazil is integrated with cooperation between Mercosur and European Union (planoalto)
  • Second biggest Finnish foreign trade delegation all time with 60 companies and 123 people in total (source: EBC and alexstubb)
  • According to Paulo Tigre from Confederação Nacional da Indústria (CNI) Brazil offers opportunities for investments in infrastructure related to projects focusing on World Cup 2014 and Summer Olympics 2016 in oil industry and renewable energy supply chains like ethanol, biofuels, wind power and hydroelectricity. (source panoramabrasil)
  • Focus sectors for Finnish business delegation are forestry, mining, metal, ICT, naval and offshore (source: VNK)
  • Focus sectors for research and development need in Brazil are in renewable energies, telecommunications, natural disaster alarm systems, naval defence and offshore (source: planoalto)
  • Science and research exchange and mobility between Universities and public research organizations (source: Ciência sem Fronteiras)
  • Finnish Technical Research Centre (VTT) and VTT Graduate School offers opportunities for 100 Brazilian researcher and PhD students in near future (source: MCT)
  • Call for Brazil-Finland cooperation in 12 Finnish Universitities (UNIFI) (source MCT)
  • Finland promissed to contribute on capacity building of Brazilian teachers and professors (source Globo)
  • Cooperation in basic education (source MCT)

Please do not hesitate to comment if you have some insight from the visit to make information and knowledge visible for all interested on education, research, business and policy cooperation between Finland and Brazil. Leave you comment below and I will add it to the list.

I visited Brazil in December 2011 for the first time in three years. In 2007 I lived more than a year in Brazil, learned speak fluent portuguese (after living two years in Argentina learning spanish and making Latin American Business studies) and worked in Finpro Brazil. I visited University of Sao Paulo (USP) Instituto de estudos Avançados (IEA) to understand better the historical development of Brazilian innovation system and future prospects.  During the flight back to Finland I decided to write on recent developments in Brazil.

Brazil is the only emerging BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) country that have not been discussed widely in Finland from innovation perspective. This is understandable as Brazil is seen distant geographically, culturally and linguistically to Finns and Finland poses weak historical political and economic relationship with Brazil. Other reason is that Brazil has been performing relatively weak in innovation performance caused by lack of coherent innovation policies, and protective legislation have been creating challenges for foreign investment (Brazil ranked 129th out of 183 countries in the World Bank’s latest Doing Business report) and innovation cooperation. However, there are signals on emerging innovation culture in Brazil and context related systemic approach need to be taken to increase strategic cooperation between Finns and Brazilians. This blog focuses on Brazilian innovation system and policy from social, economic and environmental perspectives to understand educational, scientific, technological, business model and service innovations emerging from Brazil and its fellow Latin American countries, mainly Chile.

Brazil has many times in its history praised to be the land of the future. Let’s look first on some recent developments in Brazil why it might finally fullfil the promises. First, Brazil with population of 190 million, the past eight years “Bolsa Familia” social program have lifted over 40 million Brazilians out of poverty and into middle class. This creates interesting platform for creating context related innovations and scaling bottom-of-the-pyramid innovations (disruptive and reverse) globally. Second, Brazil was almost non-effected by financial crisis 2008, a signal for strong and stable macro-economic policies. This means that Brazil, first time in its history, is becoming an interesting country for long term investment and strategic cooperation. Third, Brazil is hosting Football World Cup in 2014 and Summer Olympics in 2016. This will increased investments on infrastructure development and pressure for Brazil to show its true nature internationally. Growth Acceleration Program (PAC) 2011 – 2014 invests US$526 Billion to sanitation, crime prevention, basic health clinics, savings and loan systems, electricity and water for all, logistics, and energy. Fourth, deep sea oil field discovered 2007 will double or in most optimistic estimates tenfold Brazil’s current 16 billon barrel oil resources. Combined with bioenergy and wind energy production and hydroelectric resources Brazil is becoming a global energy power and profits from these resources create funds for future investments and development. End of 2011 U.S. finally opened its markets to Brazilian ethanol which will boost the sales in the future. Fifth Brazilian climate change law requires reduction of greenhouse emissions by year 2020: 36 – 39% below 2005 levels and 80% reduction in deforestation puts Brazil in forefront on fighting against climate change. And last strong primary economy from iron ore to soy beans will continue to boost national financial resources driven by explosive demand growth in China and India. In 2005 there were only 3 companies (Petrobrás, Banco Bradesco and Banco Do Brasil) in Fortune Global 500 list as in 2011 there were total 7 companies (4 new companies Vale, JBS, Itaúsa-Investimentos Itaú and Ultrapar Holdings). Other primary economy companies are Aracruz, Votorantim and Gerdau. Emerging higher technology Brazilian companies are aeronautic company Embraer, automobile part producer Marcopolo, cosmetics company Natura and Information technology provider Totvs.

To change course from primary economy to knowledge based economy Brazil have implemented several science, technology and innovation (STI) policies. Brazilian innovation, technology and international trade policy including Innovation Law was launched in 2004 and it followed Good Law 2005, PAC da Ciência 2007 and Productive Development Policy 2008. Innovation Law is designed to university-industry research relationship, promote shared use of R&D infrastructure, allow direct government grants for innovation in firms and increase mobility of researchers within the system. Good Law provides fiscal incentives for private R&D investment and funding for firms hiring Masters degrees and PhDs. The subsidy can reach 60% of the salary in remote underdeveloped are such as North East and Amazonia and 40% in rest of the country up to 3 years. PAC da Ciência growth action plan for science and technology funding has increased R&D funding from 1.0% of GDP in 2006 to 1.13% of GDP in 2009. This percentage and growth can be considered remarkable as 30 years ago there was almost no infrastructure for scientific research.

Corruption referred as “mensalão” is the only single threat slowing down the Brazilian development and cause of high inequality! In end of 2011 Brazil passed UK becoming 6th largest economy globally. Continuing these developments, Brazil is expected to become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2030, behind China, US, and India. All this have not been and not will be possible without improvements in innovation performance. Future blog posts weekly will focus on different aspects of innovation in Latin America. Even “innovation” is considered many times confused term refering to political, economic, social and environmental development, I will carefully follow state-of-the-art academic and intellectual stream on using this term and provide insight on using this term in development rethorics.

I hope the Finnish approach to Brazil will change and take strategic stance when Finnish education-research-business delegation lead by Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade of Finland Alexander Stubb and Prime Minister of Finland Jyrki Katainen will visit Brazil in second week of February!

Please comment and add your insight on recent develpments in Brazil!

%d bloggers like this: