The research project “Comparative study of the national innovation systems of Brazil, Russia, India, China And South Africa (BRICS)”
Cassiolato, José Eduardo
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A significant part of the growth potential of the world economy for the coming decades resides mostly in some large less developed countries. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) have such potential. More than just that, BRICS are thought as having the capacity to “change the world” by the threats and opportunities they represent from the economic, social and political points of views. International agencies and some analysts suggest that investors should pay careful attention to the opportunities presented by these countries. In this case, the emphasis has been restricted to the identification of investment possibilities in the BRICS production structures and to the perspectives presented by their consumer markets. In the study hereby proposed the interest in analyzing BRICS goes much beyond. These countries present significant development opportunities, as well as several common characteristics and challenges. Identifying and analyzing them may help to uncover the possible paths for fulfilling their socio-political-economic development potential. The central focus of the study is the national innovation system (NIS) of the five BRICS. The notion of innovation system has in its centre the production, S&T and education subsystems; but includes also the financial subsystem, the investment patterns, the legal and political frameworks as well as other spheres connected to the national and international, contexts where knowledge are generated, used and diffused. In this effort it is necessary to develop conceptual and methodological frameworks capable of depicting their different private, public and governmental dimensions and that allow the comparison of the NIS of the five countries, pointing out convergences, divergences and synergies. Particular attention will be given to policy implications. Better knowledge about the experience of the BRICS´ NIS will allow the identification and the analysis of competing areas, as well as common bottlenecks and complementarities, which are of paramount importance for the implementation of actual and potential joint actions. In order to do so, the study aims at including, not only students and researchers specialized on production and innovation development, but also policy-makers in national and international debates.