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Mapping innovation

The third edition of FAPESP's Indicators registers an increase in public spending on S&T between 1998 and 2002

On the 10th of May, FAPESP launched the third issue of Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators in Sao Paulo – 2004, a detailed X-ray of the advance of research and development (R&D) in the State of Sao Paulo between 1998 and 2002. In the same manner as the two previous issues (1995 and 2001), the publication aims to assist the formulation of scientific and technological policy in Sao Paulo and the country.

The third issue, put together by nearly forty specialists, is organized around three large blocks of indicators – inputs, results and economic and social impacts. Throughout its twelve thematic chapters, the science and technology developed in São Paulo are interpreted, taking as a backstage, the national and international contexts. The volume even integrates the statistical series from which the indicators were built and the description of the methodologies adopted in the collecting and treatment of the data presented, as Regina Gusmão, the third edition’s coordinator, underlines.

Spending on R&D
In what is referred to as spending on R&D, the Indicators adopted a new methodology for the identification and collection of data distinct from that used during the other editions (1995 and 2001). In order to delimit the field of activities in the State of Sao Paulo, the authors emphasized the comparability of group numbers, based on the recommendations of the Frascati Manual, made out by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and already adopted by the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2001. Public spending on R&D was calculated based on on budgetary execution.

Based on this criterion, the authors registered an increase in expenditure in the state of Sao Paulo between 1998 and 2002. These expenditures kept themselves above R$ 2.3 billion during this period. The expenditures of the state government – which corresponds to almost 60% of the total – proved to be more dynamic than those of the federal government in Sao Paulo.

In Sao Paulo, this increase was principally determined as spending through the development institutions. FAPESP maintained a leading position, being responsible for more than 56% of the total of the resources destined towards development in the state. The annual spending on post graduation also contributed to the increase in public expenditure. This totaled R$ 863 million, on average, 84% having been spent on the three state universities, led by the University of Sao Paulo (USP), followed by the São Paulo State University (Unesp) and the State University of Campinas (Unicamp).

In the calculation of private investments, the third edition of Indicators incorporated the data base from the Industrial Research and Technological Innovation 2000 (Pintec), of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), carried out over 10,000 companies, as well as the special tabulation of Pintec 2003 that the institute should release during the second quarter of this year, according to Sandra Hollanda, the coordinator of the chapter concerning expenditure on R&D. In the other editions of the Indicators this calculation was done using information collected by the National Research, Development and Engineering Association of Innovative Companies (Anpei in the Portuguese acronym) with coverage of between four to six hundred companies.

For this new criterion, the participation of companies in the total spending on R&D in Sao Paulo during 2000 was 54%. At the national level, during the same period, public investment was still the largest, which, in the total of spending on R&D, represented 58% as opposed to 48% from the private sector. These results, nevertheless, must be put into perspective, as Sandra herself observes, since the Pintec is carried out by probability sampling and has a margin of error of 30%. The new methodology still has to be perfected.

Patent registrations
In spite of the positive signs in the chapter on R&D spending, the Indicators show an accentuated distancing of the Brazilian standard of investment in science and technology compared to the industrialized countries, which maintains open the challenge to search for solutions to boost technological advance. The evidence of this statement lies in the chapter dedicated to the intellectual property indicators. In the number of patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Uspto) Brazilians showed modest, even though persistent, growth between 1999 and 2001, until closing the period with 0.07% of the total registered. Sao Paulo’s contribution represented half of the national effort during this period, similar to its participation in the patent requests registered through the National Institute for Industrial Property (INPI in the Portuguese acronym) between 1990 and 2001. Indeed, the data reveals that of the twenty leading Brazilian entities in filing patents between 1990 and 2001, seven were located in Sao Paulo, among them two universities and three research institutes.

Further, the authors highlight the highly elevated weight, about 70%, of the patent requests in the INPI system filed by individuals in relation to company requests, both in the case of Sao Paulo and in Brazil. This picture, in accordance with specialized literature, is associated to backwardness and underdevelopment, the research authors point out. Inversely, projected onto an international plane, the data reveals the preponderance of patents conceded to companies, the vast majority represented by transnational companies.

The chapter concerning the technological balance of payments makes clear the price that the country is paying for technological backwardness. Between 1998 and 2002, the participation of high technology products in exports of the State of Sao Paulo accounted for between 25% to 30%, whilst the situation of Brazil as a whole  was between 15% and 20%.

Technologically advanced countries have around half of their exports concentrated in high technology goods and they represent average export values greater than those imported. This relationship is inverted in countries where the technological sophistication of their industry is low. This is the case of Brazil and Sao Paulo, classified amongst the regions and countries of medium degree of technological development that is characterized by deficits in the trade balance of high technology goods and in the balance of payments of technological services. This provides evidence of the high dependency of Brazil and the State of Sao Paulo in relation to foreign technology. In the case of Sao Paulo, this problem appears in the most visible manner: in what is referred to as external sales, the state fits itself into the intermediary level of international integration, similar to that of Italy. But, on the purchasing side, it has a performance similar to that of the most advanced countries, such as Germany of France.

The indicators relative to human resources available in science and technology are also not cheering. In 2001, the number of people occupied in science and technology in the country were some 11.2 million and in Sao Paulo, 3.6 million, a level comparable to those of France and the United Kingdom, according to the parameters of the OECD. Furthermore, when related to the active economic population (EAP), the results are unfavorable: the people working throughout the country represent 12% of the EAP and in Sao Paulo it is 17%, as opposed to the level of 40% observed in the above mentioned countries.

Tertiary education
The Indicators point to an acceleration of the growth rhythm in enrollments of college education in the country in relation to the period 1995 – 1998, with the admission of more than 1.3 million students into the system. This growing demand is a result of the duplication of the number of high school graduates, together with the progressive rise in the number of universities in the interior of States and their diversification throughout the country.

Between 1998 and 2002, Sao Paulo registered a 46% increase in the number of student matriculations, 89% in pre-university courses and 40% in total at teaching institutions. In Brazil as a whole, this growth in the number of graduates was even more accentuated, with a growth of 64% in matriculations, 107% in the number of courses and 68% in the teaching institutions.

The private network was the main vehicle responsible for the expansion in graduation, with an increase of 50% in the number of matriculations, in the case of Sao Paulo, and of 84% in the remainder of the country. Indeed, the authors identified a “flash flood” in the expansion of the private sector, when verifying a significant drop in the relationship in the number of applicants per opening in the selection processes.

Enrollment in post-graduate courses, contrary to the undergraduate courses, have concentrated themselves in the public network, which between 1998 and 2002 maintained the pace of growth already registered during the second edition of Indicators.

The number of enrollments in the State of São Paulo during 2002 had still represented 37% of the vacancies in all of the country. The vast majority of the courses were offered by the three major state universities. The private network courses had not reached 17% of the total vacancies for master’s degrees and 7% for doctorate degrees. Indeed, post-graduation continues in clear expansion in the rest of the country, though at a slower rate of pace, without compromising the standard of academic excellence and of the excellence of the courses being offered.