Technology Competitiveness in Emerging Markets: The Case of the Brazilian Polymer Industry
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The Brazilian polymer industry (plastics, rubbers, fibers, adhesives, paints, and varnishes) is the fastest growing segment of the Petrochemical Chain. Since the polymer industry is characterized as science based, the capacity to create technology is vital for its long-range survival in the market. This paper analyzes how Brazilian polymer firms maintain their technological competitiveness, explains the main modes of technology transfer, and evaluates the degree of technological dependence of this industry. The methodology consisted of a database built with data from the Brazilian Patent Office. To confirm the findings, interviews were conducted with staff members from seven Brazilian polymer firms. The data base analysis and the interviews reveal that, in spite of the fact that Research and Development (R&D) and technological innovation have a fundamental role in their competitiveness, the firms are technologically dependent upon foreign suppliers.
Keywordscompetitiveness innovation polymer industry R&D technology transfer.
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