A significant part of the growth potential of the world economy for the coming decades resides mostly in some large less developed countries. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) have such potential. More than just that, BRICS are thought as having the capacity to “change the world” by the threats and opportunities they represent from the economic, social and political points of views.

These countries present significant development opportunities, as well as several common characteristics and challenges. Identifying and analyzing them may help to uncover the possible paths for fulfilling their socio-political-economic development potential.

The central focus of the ‘NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEMS OF BRICS COUNTRIES PROJECT’ is on the innovation systems of these countries. Although BRICS have put innovation in the centre of their development strategies, there is scarce knowledge about these efforts and the impacts on their economy and society. The project aims to contribute to a better understanding of these issues.

Particular attention will be given to policy implications. Better knowledge about the experience of the BRICS´ NIS will allow the identification and the analysis of competing areas, as well as common bottlenecks and complementarities, which are of paramount importance for the implementation of actual and potential joint actions. In order to do so, the project aims at including, not only students and researchers specialized on production and innovation development, but also policy-makers in national and international debates.

As part of the activities of BRICS project an international seminar will take place in Stellenbosch, South Africa, from 28th to 30th July, 2008. The main objectives of the seminar are:

To stimulate interactions and the exchange of experiences between researchers and policy-makers interested in innovation in BRICS aiming at creating capabilities and finding joint workable solutions;
To characterize the structure of BRICS´ national innovation systems, their recent evolution and perspectives;
To compare the five countries innovation systems, identifying differences and similarities, common bottlenecks and complementarities;
To develop and use concepts and information capable of representing the Innovation Systems of BRICS;
To discuss policy implications and put forward policy recommendations, extracting lessons that can be useful not only for these countries but also for other developing countries.
To plan coming activities of BRICS project.

Sustainability Institute, P O Box 162, Lynedoch,
Stellenbosch, 7603 - South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 21 881 3196
Fax: +27 (0) 21 881 3294