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Geography of innovation and the formation of innovation hotspots in Brazil: conceptual framework, empirical analysis, and policy

Grant number: 21/02261-2
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2024 - February 28, 2026
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Economics - Regional and Urban Economics
Principal Investigator:Renato de Castro Garcia
Grantee:Renato de Castro Garcia
Host Institution: Instituto de Economia (IE). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Over the past 40 years, the world has witnessed deep changes in the global innovation landscape. Although innovation is increasingly concentrated in some metropolitan areas, it is also gradually spreading to regions outside traditional centers in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan. During this period, some regions in developed countries, such as San Francisco, New York, Frankfurt, and Tokyo have consolidated their position as the main global innovation hotspots. In addition, regions in developing countries, such as the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Bay Area, Singapore, and Bangalore, have become emerging centers for important innovative activities. In the rest of the world, other centers have emerged in isolated regions, even though they are characterized by a lower density of innovation found around them. This is the case for some innovation hotspots in Brazil, such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Meanwhile, the production of knowledge in all these localized hotspots has become increasingly interconnected, forming complex global innovation networks, whose connectivity sometimes defies geographical distance.The technological trajectories of these rising innovation hotspots can offer insights for other countries and other regions. Based on this assumption, research questions emerge regarding to the role of the innovation hotspots for the generation and diffusion of new knowledge. In particular, what are the main factors that explain these industrial and technological transformations? What are the main channels through which innovation was able to flourish in these successful experiences? What are the main lessons learned for developing countries? How can the development of these experiences provide new insights for innovation-based regional development policies?To answer these questions, this research project aims to analyze the technological trajectories of the main Brazilian innovation hotspots, and their effects on regional development based on innovation. This research project aims to shed new light on three main factors that characterize innovation hotspots in Brazil, which comprise three analytical modules of the project. The first point will provide a detailed statistical description of the technological trajectory of the local innovation hotspots, by using secondary data on innovation inputs and outputs. We will apply regional analysis methodologies, that were already used in previous studies. The second factor s regarding a general characterization of the recent trajectory and the current situation of the local innovation hotspots in the Brazilian selected regions. The characterization of the selected regions involves a survey of the main policy measures that are already being adopted in Brazil for regional innovation development. The third factor will be developed using the main findings of the previous modules. It will focus on specific research questions concerning localized innovation, related to evolution and the main possibilities for productive and technological diversification in Brazilian regions. At this point, the main drivers of the capacity of the regions to raise the general level of local innovation capabilities will be addressed, with important effects on their dynamic evolution process and the incorporation of new and differentiated technological and productive capacities. For the development of these elements, some of the main methodologies of regional analysis will be used, which will be adapted and applied to the Brazilian context. (AU)

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