CNI President Robson Braga de Andrade shares his thoughts on the Global Innovation Index

September 19, 2022

Since its founding by Professor Soumitra Dutta in 2007, the Global Innovation Index (GII) has become a premier reference for measuring a country’s innovation performance. Published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in partnership with the Portulans Institute, the report ranks the innovation ecosystem performance of economies around the globe each year while highlighting innovation strengths and weaknesses and particular gaps in innovation metrics. It also serves as a cornerstone of economic policymaking, as a tool for designing policy responses to improve innovation performance. The 2022 edition of the GII focuses on the effect of innovation on productivity and wellbeing of society over the coming decades.

With the launch of the 2022 GII right around the corner, Robson Braga de Andrade, President of the Brazilian National Confederation of Industry (CNI) shares his thoughts on the value of the GII for CNI’s mission of increasing the competitiveness of Brazilian industry, and for Brazil’s innovation ecosystem in general. CNI is the main organization representing Brazilian industry, and a member of the Portulans Institute GII Corporate Network, which brings together corporations or trade associations that believe in the role of innovation in increasing the competitiveness of nations, enabling economic growth, driving societal changes, and building the foundation of an economy’s future.

Tell us a bit about the value of the Global Innovation Index for CNI, and how it is utilized in your work? 

“The annual publication of the Global Innovation Index (GII) is very relevant for the innovation ecosystem in Brazil. While we understand the importance of producing innovation indicators – the Entrepreneurial Mobilization for Innovation (MEI), a movement promoted by the Brazilian National Confederation of Industry (CNI), organizes a Working Group on the subject – we also know how difficult it is to elaborate these indicators on a basis that is internationally comparable. In general, the countries produce their internal indices, but due to different methodologies and samples, it is not always possible to establish comparative bases between them. The GII aims to fill this gap. With it, it is possible to understand the opportunities of the innovation ecosystem in the country and to act for its improvement.

Thus, with the index in hand, we guide our activities within the Brazilian science, technology and innovation system to improve it. We know that the positions occupied by Brazil in the ranking in previous years do not match our potential, as we have one of the largest economies in the world. Having a study that uses solid methodology, which points out the potential of our ecosystem is, therefore, very important in the political action we carry out.”

This year’s Global Innovation Index explores how innovation can contribute to increased production and productivity. The theme, “What is the future of innovation-driven growth?”, is timely for the world economy and the Brazilian economy. What steps does CNI take to support innovation, and how will these efforts continue in the future? 

“While many developed countries are experiencing a process of productivity stagnation, Brazil has seen, in recent decades, a decline in its total productivity. This, as is well known, directly compromises the country’s ability to maintain sustainable growth. For this reason, the theme of this year’s GII seems very timely. We understand that, in Brazil, innovation can play an important role in boosting productivity. On the capital productivity side, new technologies, such as the modern innovations present in the information and communication technology sector, can play a very important role. On the labor productivity side, education can be a very relevant factor. In both aspects, MEI has been carrying out notable works and concentrating its efforts.

Regarding our actions, for 14 years we have promoted MEI, a movement that brings together the main business leaders in Brazil, members of the government and academia to discuss and plan actions to improve our innovation ecosystem. Over this almost decade and a half, MEI has, in fact, played a fundamental role in strengthening the innovation ecosystem, obtaining objective victories for its improvement, whether at the legal and governmental level, or in terms of the action of the private sector and companies. 

In our mobilization, one of the initiatives has been the articulation of thematic Working Groups. With them, we were able to address fundamental issues for the future of innovation in the country, such as financing, regulatory framework, human resources, and digital transformation, among others. We hold regular meetings with the most important people and institutions in the innovation ecosystem and work closely with the government. Today, MEI is consolidated as the most successful environment for dialogue, debates and contributions among the main agents of innovation in Brazil.”

Our Corporate Network Partners are corporations or trade associations that believe in the role of innovation in increasing the competitiveness of nations, enabling economic growth, driving societal change, and building the foundation of an economy’s future. How has CNI benefited from its membership in the Corporate Network, and in your view, why is the establishment of such Networks important? 

“The establishment of such networks is fundamental for cooperation between countries and for world economic development. Contemporary development is directly related to the international competitiveness achieved by countries. Considering the results of the GII, for example, it is not possible to think about strengthening science, technology and innovation in Brazil, without taking into account the best international practices. As I highlighted, one of the main strengths of the Global Innovation Index is that it allows for a comparison between countries. This is also important because it allows countries at the bottom of the rankings to understand what can and should be done, based on the best global examples.

For CNI, being able to participate in GII’s Corporate Network Partners is essential, as it is a select circle within which international best practices in innovation are discussed and learned.

I would like to reaffirm the importance that we, from CNI and MEI, see in the annual publication of the Global Innovation Index. As I said, it is a study that guides our operations in Brazil. Knowledge can and must be our ally in the battle we are fighting to strengthen the national innovation ecosystem.”

Join us for the global launch of the GII, to be held on September 29th, from 13:30 to 16:15 p.m. (CEST), as well as the Brazil launch of the GII the following day, on September 30th. The events will feature important national industrial leaders and government authorities linked to ST&I, and deepen the discussions surrounding present day innovation challenges and opportunities. The event will be live-streamed on WIPO’s website and is free of charge.

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