Sussex economist to write innovation policy report for Brazilian government

Professor Mazzucato met with Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, to discuss the ideas in her book on the entrepreneurial state.

University of Sussex economist Professor Mariana Mazzucato has been commissioned by the Brazilian government to write a report on Brazil’s innovation policy.

The announcement follows a three-hour meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and seven key government ministers to discuss her book, O Estado Empreendedor (The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking public vs. private sector myths), and its implications for the Brazilian economy.

The high-profile meeting was covered widely by the Brazilian media, including Valor (the key Brazilian financial paper), which reported that Professor Mazzucato “discussed with President Dilma Roussef strategies for long-term economic growth.”

Brazil’s growth rate has slowed in recent years and, like other countries around the world, it is introducing policies aimed at cutting its deficit.

Professor Mazzucato’s project will question whether austerity and innovation policy can work hand in hand, and will focus on the need to develop ‘smart’ innovation-led growth, with concrete proposals on how to improve the Brazilian system of innovation.

The work will build on her previous collaboration with the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) on mission-oriented financing. This work has been supported with a £100,000 grant from BNDES and Professor Mazzucato gave a sold-out keynote lecture at the BNDES during last week’s trip.

The project will also draw on the experience of successful mission-oriented innovation strategies around the world, such as those examined in The Entrepreneurial State.

Professor Mazzucato, RM Phillips Professor in the Economics of Innovation in the University of Sussex’s Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), said: “It was a privilege to discuss with President Dilma, Finance Minister Levy and other ministers the ideas in my book, O Estado Empreendedor.

“Countries around the world are seeking smart, innovation-led, sustainable growth. To succeed they must not focus on static deficit ratios, but rather put innovation and productivity enhancing investments at the heart of growth policy. 

“My new project for the Brazilian government will set out proposals to inform and steer Brazilian innovation policy; a mission-oriented approach with a visionary, risk-taking public sector working in symbiotic partnership with the business community.

“As innovation requires patient long term committed finance, a key part of the project will concern the public banking system in Brazil.”

Professor Mazzucato will work with Caetano Penna (now at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and formerly of SPRU) as Brazilian-based investigator and research coordinator.

Her project, for which the University of Sussex has received a grant of £75,000 from the Brazilian government, is expected to be completed by November 2015.

During her trip to Brazil last week, Professor Mazzucato also gave a keynote talk to key business leaders and policy makers at a major conference of the Confederation of Brazilian Industry (CNI) in Sao Paulo.


Notes for editors

 Press coverage:

  • Coverage of Mazzucato’s meeting with President Dilma Rousseff in Valor and Folha de S.Paulo
  • An interview with Mazzucato in Brazil’s leading financial paper Exame





By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Friday, 22 May 2015