Our aim has been to address a series of issues including the new requirements and forms of industrial and technological development associated with the Knowledge Era and the role, objectives and tools of industrial and technology policies in this new international context. Particular emphasis is given to the challenges posed to developing countries and regions. Besides elaborating a conceptual and methodological framework, we have conducted empirical research investigating the recent experience of productive arrangements and innovation systems operating in different sectors and regions in Brazil and other Mercosur countries. These have included the analysis of:

  • Their characteristics, relevant actors and institutional set-up;
  • The role of interactions among agents; internal and external relations;
  • Main policy programmes for local arrangements and systems;
  • Their dynamism, innovative activities and learning processes;
  • How the changes of the 1990s - the new macroeconomic environment; increased world competition; the emergence of the ICT paradigm; the acceleration of globalisation; the process of economic liberalisation; and the creation of the Mercosur - have affected them and local productive and innovative capabilities;
  • New demands for innovative development policies, reflecting current transformations.