Patterns of Technological Innovation: A Comparative Analysis between Low-tech and High-tech Industries in Brazil

Eduardo de Oliveira Costa, José Ednilson Oliveira Cabral, Sérgio Henrique Arruda Cavalcante Forte, Maria da Penha Braga Costa


This paper is intended to contribute to the knowledge about the patterns of innovations in different economic sectors. Hence, the general objective is to assess the differences in rates, directions, sources and efforts of innovations between low-tech and high-tech industries in Brazil. The analysis is based on the database of a survey on innovation (PINTEC) conducted by IBGE. The sample includes 8,578 innovative Brazilian companies surveyed from selected low-tech industries (food and textiles manufactures) and high-tech industries (vehicles and electronics industries). Descriptive and factorial correspondence analysis were used to identify the variables regarding rates, directions, sources and efforts of innovation that discriminate the low-tech industries of high-tech. The results confirm that low-tech industries differ from high tech ones in all pattern of innovations dimensions analyzed. Hence, low tech industries, compared to high-tech ones, are less innovative, innovate more in process, have fewer people dedicated to R&D, present suppliers as the most significant source of information and is a larger user of Government funding for the purchase of machinery and equipment. On the other hand, the high-tech industries are more innovative, innovate more in products, have more people dedicated to R&D, search for information of other groups of companies, customers and competitors, and their larger use of public financing is for investing in R&D.


Technological Innovation; Low-tech; High-tech Industries; Innovation; Brazilian companies

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