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IBGE takes to the field

Survey is going to evaluate the efforts in innovation of Brazilian industry

negreirosThe Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), with the support of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT), is going to evaluate the innovation effort within the Brazilian industry. The survey into Technological Innovation (Pintec), which began on the 19th of November, is going to look into 10,000 companies in diverse sectors – within a universe of 72,000 industries -, with more than ten employees, throughout the country. The objective is to identify the innovative initiatives in the technology of products and processes, to sum up the investments in research and development (ReD) and to analyze the relationships of cooperation with other institutions, explains Wasmalia Bivar, the coordinator of Pintec. The result will be a series of sectorial and regional indicators to evaluate innovation technology in the country.

Also other forms of the incorporation of technology will be evaluated, such as through patents, brand names and purchases of machinery and equipment, as well as the money spent on training and qualifying the work force, among others. “For example, it will be possible to know if the company requested a patent in Brazil or abroad and what is the percentage of income covered by this register”, she adds. The sources of financing will be identified, as well as the main partnerships of companies in the innovation process.

“This information will be important to design incentive and investment policies in ReD”, says Sinézio Pires Ferreira, an assistant to the Executive Secretary of the MCT. For the companies, the research is going to generate fundamental information to guide and to choose strategies of modernization, in order to widen their productivity and to increase their competitiveness on the international market, completes Wasmalia. The results will be available in two stages, in April and May of next year.

It will be the first research survey about investments in technology and innovation of national coverage. The National Research Association, Development and Engineering of Innovative Companies (Anpei), the State System of Data Analysis Foundation (Seade) and the Brazilian Society of Studies of Transnational Companies and of Economic Globalization (Sobeet) have carried out similar studies, but with a regional character and in one sector only. The Pintec will cover a lot more: it will collect data from companies throughout the national territory for the period 1998 – 2000, consolidating information about public and private investments in technological innovative.

These indicators will even allow for the comparison of the information on national industry with the performance of companies abroad since the Pintec will follow standards similar to surveys carried out, for example, in the European Union. “It is important that the data can be compared and that Pintec has a point of reference”, justified Wasmalia. Besides the research variables, the Pintec data will even be cross referenced withinformation from the Annual Industrial Research (PIA), carried out by the IBGE, which evaluates income, expenditure and other companies traits This strategy will allow for a broadening of the information, and a more in-depth profile of the companies as well as the multiplication of indicators on the country’s investments into innovation.

The IBGE is also being innovative in the manner of applying Pintec’s questionnaire. The traditional system, with questions made directly to the person being interviewed, will be adopted only in companies with more than 500 employees. “The more complex structures are going to demand direct visits”, explains Wasmalia. In the others, the data will be collected by telephone, in interviews previously agreed upon. In both cases, the researchers will use a palmtop – a computer only a little bigger than a diary – for the collection of information. “This system will permit evaluation of the data during the interview itself”, she assures.