Brazil Chart
2013 GDP, billion US$, PPP $2,453
2013 GERD, billion US$, PPP $31.9
R&D/GDP 1.30%
Population, million 199.3
GERD/Person $160
Published Research Papers
1999-2003, Physics 8,600
2004-2008, Physics 10,100
1999-2003, Chemistry 3,200
2004-2008, Chemistry 5,200
Academic Research Share 29%
Institute Research Share 28%
Industry Research Share 44%
Source: Battelle/R&D Magazine, UNESCO, Thomson Reuters

GFF GlobeWhile strictly categorized as an emerging nation by the IMF, the Federative Republic of Brazil is the world’s fifth largest country in geographic size and population and sixth overall in gross domestic product (GDP). By 2040, Brazil’s economy is forecast to be the fourth largest in the world, behind China, the U.S., and India. Brazil dominates South America in terms of its economy, vast mostly untapped natural resources, large labor pool, and R&D spending. According to our R&D Funding Forecast, Brazil’s R&D spending is expected to increase in 2013 to $31.9 billion, an 8.1% increase over the $29.5 billion it spent in 2012. This increases its share of global spending from 2.0% to 2.1% and ranks it tenth globally, slightly ahead of Canada. Brazil’s R&D spending also accounts for more than 75% of the total R&D spent in all of South America. These statistics reflect trends in Brazil’s R&D investments over the past decade when the intensity of its R&D increased by 10% from 0.98% to 1.09% of GDP between 2002 and 2008, while its economy was growing by 27%, thereby increasing net R&D spending by 35% during that period. The global recession slowed this growth slightly in 2009 and 2010, but Brazil was one of the first countries to recover in both its economic growth and R&D spending.

Brazil’s science and technology output mirrors its overall global R&D ranking, with an average of more than 2% of the world output across ten fields of science tabulated by Thomson Reuters. The country has strengths in the life sciences, particularly those related to its natural resources, such as tropical medicine (18% share of world technical publications), entomology (7% share), biology (6.4% share), and zoology (5.6% share).

Collaborative Focus
Brazilian researchers collaborate primarily with U.S. and leading western European researchers. Leading international collaborators including the University of Texas, Harvard University, University Paris 06, Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique (France), and McGill University (Canada).


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Industrial research accounts for the largest share (44%) of Brazil’s total R&D budget. Embraer is the largest aerospace firm in Brazil and the third largest commercial aircraft maker in the world, behind Airbus and Boeing. With a relatively modest R&D budget—by global standards—of about $70 million, Embraer is developing both new commercial and regional military aircraft (tankers and fighters). Due to high labor costs, few aerospace investors have established a foothold in Brazil in the past, however GE Aviation is now developing engines in Brazil for Embraer and Boeing is considering manufacturing and research collaborations with Embraer.

TOTVS, the largest software company in Latin America (the sixth largest worldwide) with more than half the market in Brazil and more than a third of the market elsewhere, recently announced that TOTVS Labs has opened a new R&D facility in Mountain View, Calif., to create products for cloud computing, social media, big data, and mobile applications. It hopes to develop strategic partnerships with technology vendors in the Silicon Valley area who are interested in expanding into Latin America. TOTVS says that it is focused on stealth R&D projects aimed at bringing products to market that fuel innovation and achieve scale with a global reach.

Brazil's Industrial R&D
Company 2010 R&D mil. U.S. $ R&D, % Revenue
Petroleo Brasiliero 943.9 0.80%
Vale 834.6 1.90%
Gerdau 122.9 0.70%
Totvs 85.9 13.30%
Embraer 68.5 1.30%
Randon SA 59.4 2.80%
WEG 57.7 2.30%
Braskem 45.1 0.30%
Source: Battelle/R&D Magazine, EU Industrial R&D Scoreboard