BRASÍLIA - March 15, 2013 (www.investorideas.com newswire) Brazil's federal government launched today the Inova Empresa Plan, with estimated investments of R$32.9 billion to boost productivity and competitiveness in various sectors of the economy through technological innovation. The funds, to be used this year and in 2014, will benefit companies of all sizes in the industrial, agricultural and service sectors.
"We are now actually prepared to give the issue of the innovation our country needs the importance it deserves," said Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff during the Plan's launch ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasília. "We must focus our full attention on having a more constructive and less unequal country and an economy with great production capacity and high productivity in order to be competitive," she added.
The Plan includes four credit lines to fund research, development and innovation (RD&I) activities:
R$1.2 billion in economic subsidies to companies;
R$4.2 billion in incentives for partnership projects between research institutions and corporations;
R$2.2 billion for shareholding in technology-based companies; and
R$20.9 billion in loans to businesses with subsidized interest rates (2.5 percent to 5 percent per year), a four-year grace period and a payback period of 12 years. The executing agents are the National Bank of Economic and Social Development (Banco Nacional Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social - BNDES) and the Studies and Projects Financing Agency (Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos - FINEP), linked to Brazil's Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.
Of the total amount to be invested, R$23.5 billion is earmarked for seven strategic areas: Agricultural and Agribusiness; Energy; Oil and Gas; Health; Defense; Information and Communication Technology; and Environmental Sustainability.
Another R$5 billion will be invested in comparable activities for companies operating in sectors not included among the strategic ones, as well as small businesses. The funds will finance research and development activities towards incremental innovation and product and process engineering, including RD&I infrastructure projects.
The remaining R$4.4 billion will come from the National Petroleum Agency (Agência Nacional do Petróleo - ANP), the National Electricity Agency (Agência Nacional de Energia Elétrica - ANEEL) and the Brazilian Service of Support for Micro and Small Enterprises (Serviço Brasileiro de Apoio às Micro e Pequenas Empresas - SEBRAE). The funds will finance innovations in the oil & gas and renewable energy chains and help support micro and small businesses.
In addition to the R$32.9 billion already secured, the Plan should receive a contribution of over R$3.5 billion through the National Telecommunications Agency (Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações - ANATEL) to be invested in R&D for the telecommunications sector. The funds are conditional upon completion of regulatory processes for the industry, currently under public consultation.
"With this Plan, federal government funding for technological innovation will reach an unprecedented level. We are taking a big step toward consolidating science, technology and innovation as a sustained pillar of the Brazilian economy," said the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Marco Antonio Raupp, who is responsible for coordinating the Inova Empresa Plan together with other ministries.
President Dilma Rousseff also detailed the institutional model of the Brazilian Research and Industrial Innovation Company (Empresa Brasileira Para Pesquisa e Inovação Industrial - EMBRAPII). The mission of EMBRAPII, with investments for 2013 and 2014 totaling approximately R$1 billion, is to foster the cooperation process between domestic companies - especially small and medium businesses - and technological institutions or non-profit private legal entities dedicated to research and development.
Detailing the seven strategic pillars
Agriculture and Agribusiness: supplies; mechanized and precision agriculture; genetics; agricultural production traceability, planning and control; agricultural health and animal welfare; equipment; food technology and packaging with new features.
Energy: smart grids; hybrid vehicles and vehicular energy efficiency; technologies for biomass gasification.
Oil and Gas: technologies for the pre-salt exploration and exploitation of unconventional gas.
Health: investments in oncology and biotechnology; medical equipment and devices.
Defense: space propulsion; space satellites and platforms; command and control sensors.
Information and Communication Technology: cloud computing, mobility and the internet; semiconductors and displays; software; broadband and digital content.
Environmental Sustainability: fight against the effects of climate change, greenhouse gases and pollutants; waste, contaminated water and soil treatment; reduction of Amazon deforestation; mobility and sustainable transportation; environmental sanitation.
Source: Brazil's Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and Planalto Blog
The Secretariat for Social Communication (SECOM) of the Presidency of the Federative Republic of Brazil is responsible for coordinating the public relations activities for the government of Brazil. For more information on the Federative Republic of Brazil, please visit www.brasil.gov.br. The official social media accounts for the Brazilian State are on Facebook and Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/BrazilGovNews/ and twitter.com/BrazilGovNews.
This material is distributed by Fleishman-Hillard Inc. on behalf of Social Communication Secretariat of the Office of the President of the Republic of Brazil . Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington , D.C.
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