Capitalismo de estado e inovação: facetas da relação entre Estado e iniciativa privada no desenvolvimento nacional

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Pinto Junior, Mario Engler
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While countries managed to rapidly rise and recover economically, Brazilian social indicators have advanced at short pace in the last decades. Although millions of Brazilians have recently left poverty, Brazil still has a long way to go regarding its socioeconomic development. Circa one fifth of the population is still considered functionally illiterate, basic education has one of the poorest performances in the world, the country has no top-level universities nor produces technology or patents at relevant levels. This paper, at first, analyses how the interaction between government and private agents influenced Brazil’s industrial and economic development, identifying the existence of bonds based on the exchange of private interests that at great extension kept public policies from reaching goals of national interest – the so called crony capitalism. Secondly, the paper verifies how development policies based on the promotion of innovative companies and segments of the industry may positively impact broad socioeconomic development. The paper delves specifically into the cooperation between universities and industry as a development tool. Enterprises and universities, guided by their endogenous interests, may be combined for the structuring of a national innovation system. While universities are fundamentally interested in promoting knowledge accumulation, enterprises are willing to invest financial capital in universities in exchange for the economic exploitation of products developed within the academic environment and direct access to its human capital. Lastly, the paper identifies the legal and cultural barriers and advances of this mechanism in Brazil. It verifies that, notwithstanding the institutional advance promoted by the Law of Innovation to the university-enterprise cooperation in Brazil, the law wasn’t entirely capable of eliminating the legal uncertainty of this relationship and capturing in an efficient way the interests of the agents involved. Recently, federal law n. 12.863/2013 officially offered universities the option of bypassing problems related to public law by regulating support foundations, which conceives greater certainty and simplicity to the cooperation. There are, however, remaining uncertainties regarding the norms to be edited by the executive power, as well as conflicts of interest linked to the property rights over patents resulting from this kind of cooperation. The paper verifies, moreover, the existence of ideological resistance to this tool within universities, in such a way that it is unlikely that those relationships develop in a systematic way throughout the country without further engagement from the government and its executive and legislative bodies.

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