Studies and Research
In 2011, the BNDES developed several relevant initiatives to foster economic and social development in Brazil, among which is the definition of issues to be developed in scientific research or technical studies with non-reimbursable financial support from the Project Structuring Fund (FEP BNDES).
Besides this, throughout the year, partnerships were established and consolidated with different institutions and government agencies aimed at optimizing the use of public resources and promoting greater integration between institutions interested in research. Topics such as sustainability and innovation stood out in the calls for submissions of open studies and research, resulting in various projects that are at different stages of progress.
Among the initiatives related to sustainability, research on the “Analysis of the varied treatment and final disposal of solid urban waste in Brazil, Europe, Japan and the United States”, was approved and contracted in 2011, and is being conducted by the Federal University of the State of Pernambuco. It was selected from the pool of 14 Previous Consultations received by the BNDES in the Call for Submissions for the BNDES/FEP Scientific Research Selection in 02/2010. The objective of this research is to conduct the survey and the analysis of varied treatment and final disposal of urban solid waste technologies existing in Brazil, Europe, Japan and the United States, so that the economic, technological, environmental, legal, social and market dimensions can be approached in each possible destination, thus fostering assessment of the adaptation and the possibility of applying the existing solutions in the five Brazilian regions.
Also on this topic, during the second half of 2011, a concession contract for non-reimbursable financial support was also approved and signed to develop scientific research to investigate the potential effects from developed countries adopting low carbon technologies on the economic structure of Brazilian industry. The study is being developed by the University of São Paulo – Ribeirão Preto (Fearp/USP) School of Economy, Administration and Accounting, with support from the Foundation for Research and Development of Administration, Accounting and Economy (Fundade).
The project intends to identify the technological trends in sectors with more intensive emissions, such as steelworks, cement, chemistry and petroleum, transport etc., seeking to demonstrate how far Brazil is from the international technological frontier in these sectors. In low-carbon sectors, in which Brazil already has a comparative advantage, such as biofuels, the project will identify the main threats to Brazil’s technological leadership.
The research expects to generate knowledge not only on Brazilian sectors that are more efficient in relation to investments in science and technology, but also on institutional innovation models adopted in countries that are leaders in low-carbon technologies so as to propose the best possible institutional project for Brazil. As a result, the research will include approximately 12 products, including seminars, as well as partial and final reports.
Innovation is another topic among the BNDES priorities and financing has been provided for studies and research on it. Also in 2011, the Technological Policy and Management Center (PGT), of the University of the State of São Paulo (USP), was selected to develop two pieces of research: “Assessment of information in the game industry” and the “Diagnosis of Brazil’s industrial activities and innovative capacity, as well as the use of public policy instruments for innovation”.
Concerning the second study, considering the importance of the subject and its impact on Brazil’s economic activity, the BNDES invited several institutions to assist it in assessing the proposals and to participate in the research follow-up. The selection included the participation of representatives from the Science and Technology Ministry (MCT), Financier of Studies and Projects (Finep), the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), and the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development (ABDI), besides representatives from several of the BNDES’ divisions, which evaluated eight pre-consultations submitted by different Brazilian teaching and research institutions.
Besides these partnerships, worthy of note is the close interaction established with the Social Security and Foreign Affairs Ministries, in proposing and selecting the studies “Analysis of unregistered workers registering as individual entrepreneurs in the first year the Complementary Law Nº. 128/08 went into effect” and the “Feasibility study on the production of biofuels in member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (UEMOA)”, respectively.
Aimed at articulating interests and promoting the broad dissemination of knowledge which will be generated in studies and research, the BNDES also developed a partnership with the National Oil Industry Organization (Onip), which launched the Call for Submissions for Oil Prospecting (01/2011) focused on the assessment of the real impact of current tax norms on the local industry and on the oil & gas extraction and production. Another partnership was set up with the Anísio Teixeira National Institute for Educational Studies and Research (Inep) to finance scientific research that assesses the impact of educational public policies selected on the performance of public school students (Public Call for Submissions 04/2010).
At the end of 2011, the BNDES launched the public call for submissions on the “Diversification opportunities in the Brazilian chemical industry” and “Diagnosis and alternatives within the reach of the government of the state of Sergipe for proper basic sanitation services in its territory”, which should be selected, approved and contracted throughout 2012.
The positive results are not only in the production of knowledge in different areas, but also in the regional and analytical diversity of the researchers involved. A significant example is the Program for Fostering Economic Development Research (PDE), conducted in partnership with the National Association of Graduate Schools of Economics (Anpec), which is currently in its fourth year. This program has relevant numbers, such as 165 projects submitted, from all regions in the country; senior and junior researchers receiving support; and 17 teaching and research institutions in the running.
In short, the BNDES has a research project portfolio that encompasses, besides the PDE, five approved loans, which total approximately R$ 15 million, besides another ten in perspective, undergoing selection and analysis, totaling over R$ 30 million in disbursements. Beneficiaries of the support include small research groups, with up to five researchers, to large teams, with over fifty collaborators.
All research projects are aimed at helping create public policies, besides, of course, strengthening the BNDES’ strategic orientations, priorities and policies. The main differential of the BNDES’ financial support is that all knowledge generated in financed research is of public domain, and results are widely divulged in the BNDES’ publications and on its websites, and on those of its partners.