A country to launch a technological innovation program

For technological innovation to become, in fact, an economic development in Minas Gerais, one of the challenges noted by experts in this sector is to improve the dialogue between those who innovate and those who need to innovate. Overcoming this “mismatch” of words and ideas involves working on language, improving communication and coexisting among the three parts that make up the so-called “triple helix” of innovation: university, private initiative and public power.

Failure in this dialogue results in Ideas not being able to find the validation it needs in the origin region. It also makes entrepreneurs pay more for technologies from the outside because they don’t know, understand, or trust the product created in the ‘backyard’.

According to experts, to overcome this challenge of dialogue, the mediation of commercial entities, such as Sebrae Minas, Fimg, CDL/BH and ACMinas, among others – which create procedures for the dissemination of innovations while at the same time conveying the market needs of those practicing technology – have been tools Fundamental, particularly among micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs who account for more than 90% of Brazilian CNPJs.

Another point is the training of more professional “translators”, who understand science, technology and procedures, and at the same time understand business and management experience, and speak the language of academia and companies. A third way to improve dialogue comes from the private sector, mainly from large companies, which can be an instigator of innovation among their suppliers.

In this way, the dialogue between research and private initiative is the subject of the fourth and final report in the series of Technological Innovation Challenges at #JuntosPorMinas – a project prepared by DIÁRIO DO COMÉRCIO that addresses the challenges and bottlenecks of the state that can be transformed into economic growth and social inclusion.

In the first week, the project generally presented the main challenges of innovation in the country. On Monday, #JuntosPorMinas gave an exclusive interview to the President of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Evaldo Villa, on the subject. In the third report, the project addressed the employment deficit in the sector. Follow the fourth and final report below, which will address the challenge of dialogue with the market.

On the one hand, vocabulary is often complex, with many English terms, and more academic and technical language. On the other hand, there is someone who speaks the language of business and does his best to keep his company alive. Translating the needs and ideas of both sides is a necessary adjustment to facilitate communication between these two actors and to promote technological innovations in Minas Gerais. Many entrepreneurs seek technological solutions outside the country, due to doubt or not fully understanding what is being offered near the companies, which makes investment more expensive and discourages local development.

This mistrust or misunderstanding about innovation mainly occurs among MSMEs. “To a large extent, this is caused by a lack of knowledge on the part of the entrepreneur about the ‘backyard’ technologies available in innovation habitats, or because the innovation available is often not appropriate to the needs of the business,” explained Cibra Minas Director of Innovation and Competitiveness, Lena Volpini.

But this position is changing. According to Lina Volpini, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most entrepreneurs have had to research more and innovate in their processes, start offering products and services through various digital tools and to an ever-growing audience. A 2021 Sebrae survey indicated that 86% of interviewed entrepreneurs who innovated saw improvement in their businesses.

“To differentiate themselves, an entrepreneur needs to understand his customers, their wants and needs, know how they relate to the company’s goal, the channels through which they prefer to buy, get a competitive price, and get reactions of the service or product purchased (…) all this in the shortest possible time so that adjustments can be made quickly to retain that customer. In other words, all these steps go through digital tools that can provide greater flexibility in the entire production management process.

On the other hand, Sebrae Minas Director of Innovation pointed out that access to technology solution development is not a simple, accessible and familiar process for an entrepreneur, who ends up looking for already validated products and services, even if they are outside the region. where they work. “An alternative to already validated technologies on the market gives you faster access and security of results,” he noted.

translators

About the Director of Science, Technology and Innovation for the Research Support Foundation (Fapemig), Marcelo Gomez Speziali, axles Technological developments in Minas Gerais and public policies have played an important role in favoring this dialogue. But he stressed that one way to make communication more effective would include, academically speaking, specialized training on a larger scale, which is what is happening in postgraduate courses in the region.

“You need a professional who understands the whole process. That encourages the innovation created, who understands the transformation of knowledge into the product that will hit the shelf. The market still lacks this professional. He who knows how to take a scientific article produced in a think tank and check its intellectual property and protects it. He described him as the person who transfers and evaluates this intellectual property to the productive sector, and who is able to expand the scope of this technology and transfer it to the market.”

inductors

On the corporate side, improved dialogue between small businesses and academia can be catalyzed by large companies, according to Brascom’s Director of Corporate Relationships, Sergio Sjobi.

Large companies have more financial and human resources and the ability to seek connections with other actors and agents to foster innovation. If these large firms spread their production chain from top to bottom, encouraging suppliers to innovate, requiring them to modify processes, participate in cycles, and cross more through technological innovation, then, as a leader in the chain, they can only earn and operate, in time itself, as a catalyst for innovation in this environment.”

For Brasscom’s Sgobbi, Large Companies Can Spur innovation in production chains | Credit: Brascom/Disclosure

The actions of business entities on several fronts along with the private sector in the so-called triple helix of innovation, are also essential tools to bring small and micro enterprises primarily closer to technological innovation. Evaluation by Brasscom’s Director of Corporate Relations, Sergio Sgobi.

“Because they are closer to the entrepreneurs, the actions of these entities convey the needs of companies to the academy in a more direct way and introduce innovations to the entrepreneurs. In this sense, they form a link that needs to be maintained, stimulated and strengthened.”

The President of the Chamber of Shopkeepers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CDL/BH), Marcelo de Sousa e Silva, said that these measures are necessary because many innovations have arrived in a bureaucratic way for small and micro-entrepreneurs, who represent 92% of companies in Brazil. Often, innovation is acquired and put aside, like the bureaucracy of the process. So, improving this dialogue is necessary to reach innovations that are more adapted to corporate realities, and also for entrepreneurs to be able to articulate what they need for the academy.”

Among the initiatives, Souza e Silva highlighted smart retail, which was developed by CDL/BH seven years ago and which will be replicated on a national scale through a partnership with Sebrae. “We connect small and micro entrepreneurs with what’s new to improve their business in terms of innovations. These are courses, training, Workshops That favors this dialogue and stimulates innovation. The result is that the number of CDL/BH partners has gone up a lot in the past two years, mainly because of the support we’ve given to the technologies,” he emphasized.

ACmines

At the Trade and Trade Association of Minas Gerais (Akmenas), work is also being done to promote a culture of innovation among companies on several fronts. According to the entity’s vice president, Janayna Bhering, there is a YouTube channel called “Inovação em Pauta”, which seeks to demystify innovation for companies. Other means of dissemination are Newsletter it’s the Articles In addition to lectures, panel discussions and business round tables.

“We want companies of any size to develop a culture of innovation, get information from academia, cases successful in many sectors,” emphasized the Vice President, who also serves as Executive Director of Business and Partnerships at the Foundation for Development and Research (Fundep).

Souza e Silva, of CDL, Celebrates Results of “Smart Retail” | Credit: CDL/BH Disclosure

Public policies are also an important part of the innovation triple helix and have a role in promoting technologies in both academia and companies. Experts in this sector are unanimously agreed that, in the state of Minas Gerais, they have shown good results in the last 15 years. However, the challenge of bringing together and expanding the dialogue between innovators and those who need innovation remains.

In an effort to improve this integration and boost the productive sector, the Minas government intends to launch the Compet Minas program at the end of this month, which will finance innovation processes in companies. The information is that Governor Romeo Zima has set an investment of R$100 million in the program. They will be constitutional resources for the sector, passed on through Fapemig.

“In this programme, companies will have the resources to implement technological innovations and will also be able to do this together with ICTMG (Institute of Science and Technology of Minas Gerais). There will be calls for StartupsMicro, small, medium and large. There will be standards, with a panel that includes not only researchers but market professionals as well. It is another way to convert knowledge into invoices, break models and gain new markets,” Felipe Atti, Under Secretary of State for Science and Technology, told Diorio do Comercio.

Still in the line of convergence between the market and academia, the Undersecretary also highlighted the university’s experience in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Vuei) program. Today located on 22 campuses and 16 institutions of higher learning, Vuei aims to bring the market and academia closer together, encouraging innovative business creation. Figures from the State Secretariat for Economic Development (headquarters) show that the program affected 72,000 people, including students, teachers and businesses in 2020 and 2021.

Cibra

Catalisa ICT – Get closer to academia and the market. Enables the implementation of research and innovation plans and projects that end with innovative projects and technology transfer

Sebrae Connect – A platform that connects small businesses with technology and digital solutions. There is 75 Startups Already available in the areas of financial management and payments; Operations and Operations Management and Digital MKT Management.

Local Innovation Agent for Digital Transformation – the agent that will support small businesses in implementing digital programs and tools to solve their priority problems in management and production

Fimg

Fiemg Lab – Acceleration Software Startups. Bringing companies closer to innovation Startupswhile introducing them to the industry’s multiplying requirements and resources for scalable, technology-based solutions.

Innovation Funding Guidelines – Monitor and disseminate information about funding opportunities, analyze business projects, and indicate fundraising possibilities.

CDL / BH

Smart Retail – An innovation-focused program for SMEs in Bahrain, with mentoring, training, qualifications and dialogue with the Academy.

ACmines

“Innovation on the Agenda” YouTube Channel – Demystifying Innovation

Innovation Council – encourages various actions and business tours

Akminas Blog – publishes information about innovations for entrepreneurs

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