Embargo: 00.01 hours Tuesday 08 July 2008
Furore over biofuels masks Brazil's real potential, warns thinktank
Demos launches new report - Brazil: The natural knowledge economy
Concerns about the effect of Brazilian bio-fuels on food prices are
distracting from the real significance of Brazil's emergence as a leading
economy, shows a new report published by Demos today.
The report, Brazil: The natural knowledge-economy', argues that the UK must
change its perceptions of Brazilian science and innovation, or risk missing
the boat on potential collaboration. The country has one of the highest
rates of economic growth worldwide, alongside China and India. But while the
latter's phenomenal growth rates capture the headlines, Brazil's more modest
growth may have stronger, more sustainable foundations.
The pamphlet, based on extensive fieldwork and interviews with over 100
leading Brazilian innovators, scientists and policymakers, looks at the
prospects for science, technology and innovation in Brazil over the next ten
years. It also makes a series of recommendations for the UK to scale up
Demos researcher and author of the report Kirsten Bound said:
"Understandable concerns over the link between biofuels and food security
are in danger of obscuring the bigger picture. Brazil is a world leader in
the production of biofuels, but its competitive advantage in science and
innovation is built on much more than that.
Brazil is a quiet achiever - it has managed a steady rate of growth without
the social and economic stretchmarks visible in China and India. Its
successful science and technology sectors are grounded in large part on its
natural and environmental assets. Brazil challenges the received wisdom that
knowledge economies can't also be natural asset-based economies."
* The UK must update its perceptions of science and innovation in
Brazil and seize the growing opportunities for collaboration;
* The UK should partner with Brazil to create bilateral 'bright green'
scholarships to build on the 2007-2008 Brazil-UK Year of Science and
* Brazil should develop an international forum for natural knowledge
economies, to promote best-practice, scientific collaboration, and
* Brazil should create an Overseas Brazilians Day and take other
measures to galvanise the Brazilian diaspora worldwide;
* Brazil should complement new innovation policies with investment in
research and development programmes across different scientific sectors.
Notes for editors:
1. 'Brazil: The Natural Knowledge Economy' is the outcome of a six
month research undertaken in partnership with Centre for Strategic Studies
and Management (CGEE) in Brazil.
2. The report launch will take place from 10.30 to 13.00 on Tuesday 8
July, at the Institute of Engineering & Technology, Savoy Place, WC2R 0BL.
Speakers will include Andrew Cahn, Chief Executive of UK Trade and
Investment, His Excellence Carlos Augusto R. Santos-Neves, Brazilian
Ambassador to the UK, Fernando Rizzo, Director of The Centre for Strategic
Studies and Management in Brazil, Luiz Augusto Horta Nogueira, Professor of
Applied Energy at Itajubá Federal University in Minas Gerais, Charles
Leadbeater, Author of 'We-Think' & Demos Associate, and Kirsten Bound,
Demos, author of Brazil: The natural knowledge economy.
Peter Harrington: 0207 367 6338, firstname.lastname@example.org
Claire Coulier: 0207 367 6335, email@example.com
Out of hours mobile: 07914 963 224
Demos switchboard: 0207 367 4200