Brazil is Dedicated to Facilitating Investments in its Biotech Sector
In Brazil, the innovation dynamics is highlighted by the interdependency of agents representing industry, research institutions and government. The scientific research is concentrated within public research institutions, which are mainly financed by the State; however, it focuses on partnerships with the industry for further product and services development.
In 2004 was approved in Brazil the Law of Innovation, which ensures incentives for innovation and scientific and technological research in the productive environment. Its main objective is to stimulate: the creation of specialized and cooperative innovation environments; the participation of Scientific and Technological Institutions (ICTs) in the innovation process; innovation in companies; the independent inventor; and the creation of investment funds for innovation.
In this environment of innovation and cooperation between ICTs, was created in 2008 the program “National Institutes of Science and Technology” with the main goal of mobilizing and gathering research groups of excellence in strategic areas for the country’s sustainable development. The program, which counted with 126 universities and research centers, received investments of approximately BRL 850 million (€225 million) in eight different scientific areas for fostering basic research and its articulation with private institutions. The Biotech sector is included in this initiative, which is coordinated by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC), as biotechnology projects are an important part of several supported areas such as the agroindustry, energy, ecology, nanotechnology and health.
According to Brazilian Pharma Solutions, a project for the internationalization of the Brazilian pharma sectors jointly developed by Abiquifi and ApexBrasil, the Biotech development is also supported by other initiatives, such as PIPE (Innovative Research in Small Companies) which supports financially the execution of scientific research within micro, small and medium-sized companies in the State of São Paulo. The São Paulo Research Foundation is responsible for PIPE’s execution.
Other programs, such as the “Inova Saúde” and “Legal Amazon”, promoted by the Brazilian Innovation Agency (FINEP), also aim to foster the Biotech sector by financing projects in several companies, small or big, from lab to market. The MCTIC considers biotechnology as an important part of the current National Science and Technology Strategy.
Its importance is represented by the formation of structured technology networks, such as several Biotech Research Networks and Technology Service Providers, that were launched in the last decade. A more recent initiative was the structuring of SulBiotec network, which aims to solve current industry technology issues through innovative biotech solutions.
FINEP numbered Biotech investments since 2003. In general, 101 biotechnology projects were financed by non-refundable resources of over BRL 173 million (€45 million) in 12 open calls. Substantial results in the Biotech sector are expected for the next years by the Agency, which selects competent companies and follows these projects execution to success.
FINEP has a series of firmed collaborations with other countries financing agencies, such as Canada, Spain, France, The Netherlands and others, for the development of joint open calls for technology support, including biotechnology projects financing and international technological partnerships.