University of Sussex
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Industrial development in a high tech sector of a developing country: the unfinished technological transition in the Brazilian vaccine industry

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posted on 2023-06-07, 15:45 authored by Mauricio Zuma Medeiros
This thesis investigates the development of the Brazilian vaccine industry. This industry has experienced a sharp growth in the last decades supported by public policies and a protected and fast-growing public market. In addition, this development is apparently characterized by continuous processes of technology acquisition, rather than indigenous R&D, as the main source of its technological knowledge, and by other specificities in the vaccine context. The research draws on studies of the dynamics of technological capability building in catching-up industries of latecomer contexts, especially during the transition period when they are approaching the innovation frontier. It also draws on those studies focusing on new directions/paths as an alternative strategy adopted to overcome barriers and disadvantages to develop. It has been argued that the specificities of the Brazilian context and, of the vaccine sector, may be determining a particular pattern of technological accumulation to this industry, and that interpreting its pattern of development may be useful to understand how and if this industry has overcome its constraints to develop. A framework based on linear approaches of catching-up, and that integrates the innovation transition approach was built as a benchmark model for the search for similarities and differences in the pattern of development of this industry. The findings show similarities and new directions in the process of technological accumulation of the industry, suggesting that, more recently, it has actually developed through a distinct pattern. They also show the strong role of the government and its public market as one of the drivers of this new path. Distinct roles of the technology acquisition strategy and a high level of technological capabilities currently developed are also revealed. Finally, they show that the technology acquisition strategy has effectively contributed to the development of this industry and that the constraints to the completion of the transition phase is linked less to technical and scientific issues and more to managerial and policy ones.


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University of Sussex

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