Product Code: ICA12_C104
The Brazilian Way of Knowledge Transfer
Walter Lindolfo Weingaertner, Precision Engineering Laboratory LMP (Laboratório de Mecânica de Precisão), Univ. Federal de Santa Catarina; Florianópolis Brazil
Presented at ICALEO 2012
Brazilian industrialization started to be significant after World War II. Governmental decisions to put the transport on roads and away from the rails turned on the need to build Brazilian cars, trucks and busses and new roads crossed the country.
Universities were designed to be higher education schools. Research was written in small letters and in the natural sciences area mainly were supported basic researches, as in physics. There was no model available to interact with the private initiative.
At the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in Florianopolis the Mechanical Engineering Course was strongly designed by the Aachen model, introduced by Prof. Caspar Erich Stemmer just after the University was founded 50 years ago. His idea was a stronger interaction with industries and that fore he implanted a practical semester for all engineering students in the early seventies. These students brought the problems from the Industry to the University and started a characteristic education model copied by the most engineering courses all over Brazil.
A very active interaction with German, French, Great Britain and American Universities strengthened the body of professors and permitted more and more sophisticated work with industries in the state of Santa Catarina, the rest of Brazil and even abroad.
The main research in Brazil is realized at the Federal owned public Universities, followed by the Catholic private and the State owned public Universities. Most of all the other private Universities still do not have an official and significant research tradition. By law every Brazilian state has to invest a still small amount of its gross product in research. Several State Banks, as FINEP, support this initiative. Every researcher and industry can get support from this system. At the universities this responds to 60 to 80% of all the money spent in research.
Petrobrás and the automotive industries are the chief leading industries in Brazil. But Brazil is growing very fast in all kind of industries reaching from agricultural areas to electronics, software, informatics, mining and heavy industry.
In the past 15 years public money is spent more and more in research projects partially founded by industrial partners. This forces both sides to establish a discussion desk to define the obligations on each side. The scenario is different if you look to already developed industries, and to industries were the knowhow was invented by the owner or the owners father. Sometimes it is very difficult to transfer knowhow to those familiar enterprises. But situations, as seen at EMBRACO and the Tupy Foundry (both first place in the world scenario in their products), show that the cooperation with universities and a adequate absorption of the technology developed at the research centers is the right way to go.
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