Evolution of university-industry collaboration in Brazil from a technology upgrading perspective
Due to its ability to create and disseminate knowledge, the modern university is understood as a central agent in innovation systems and technology upgrading dynamics. The main objective of this article is to assess the evolution of universities' embeddedness within the innovation system of an emerging economy in terms of patenting activity and linkages to industry. The study is based on information relating to the twelve most eminent universities in Brazil for the years 1994, 2004 and 2014. These institutions are found responsible for a substantial share of Brazilian patents – with an upward trend over the years - and these institutions have demonstrated a progressive embeddedness to the national innovation system. Such behavior seems to have co-evolved along with improvements in the national institutional environment, leading to expectations that academia can become strategic in shaping the catching-up conditions in Brazil for the coming years. However, deeper connections with both domestic and foreign agents and multinational corporations are needed in order to accelerate the pace of university contribution to value chains and technology upgrading.