This action, aiming to foster innovation in Local Production Arrangements (“Arranjos Produtivos Locais” or APLs), was carried out in three phases. The first stage comprised a technical mission to Europe with the participation of key Brazilian policy-makers responsible for the technological advances of APLs. This phase was funded by the project Internationalisation of Small and Medium Businesses, promoted by the Secretariat of Industrial Technology (ITS), of the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC), and by the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development (ABDI).
The following two stages included the international seminar on Innovation in Local Production Arrangements and a technical visit by EU experts to APLs in Brazil, which received funding from the EU-Brazil Sector Dialogues Support Facility.
The international seminar was held in Brasilia from June 30 to July 1, 2010, when the results of the technical mission of the previous phase were discussed, consolidated and disseminated. The event was structured on the basis of panels discussing key themes related to the innovation/APLs interface and was attended by academics and representatives of government agencies and the production sector.
The event also served to set action guidelines for the partner ministries - Ministry of National Integration (MI) and the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC) - to revitalise economically stagnant areas and foster an increase in the competitiveness of Brazilian products. The debate among participants helped create a critical mass in government and research institutions to enable the formulation and launching of initiatives that will support the APLs as instruments of regional development in Brazil. Each panel was attended by 200 guests and was run by a European specialist and occasional Brazilian collaborators.
Between 2 and 9 July 2010, that is, immediately after the seminar, the EU experts visited Brazilian APLs in the Centre-West, North, South, Southeast and Northeast regions. These visits resulted in a technical report with the diagnosis of Brazilian APLs and the opportunities and challenges for cooperation and exchanges with the European Union.
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