Initial actions of the Brazilian regional innovation ecosystem against the COVID-19 pandemic

Newton da Silva Miranda Junior, Luiz Fernando Câmara Viana, Dayse Karenine de Oliveira Carneiro, Renan Costa Filgueiras, Gislayne da Silva Goulart


Objective: We have analyzed Brazil’s initial COVID-19 combat actions by the regional innovation ecosystem actors.

Methodology/approach: This is a descriptive and qualitative study using documentary research. In total, 471 reports collected via web scraping were submitted to content analysis (using a codebook and intercoder test) and correspondence analysis.

Originality/relevance: From an innovation ecosystem perspective, this study fulfills an identified need to understand how different actors have proposed initial solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, considering different geographic regions.

Main results: According to the seminal literature, in the more economically and socially favored regions, the government-industry dyadic model was corroborated, while in the less favored regions, the most innovative actors were universities and society. Our results have not shown the quintuple helix’s performance, which leads us to ponder the use of this model in crises. Furthermore, although the quadruple helix model was observed in our analyses, in the Brazilian geographic regions the helices were not designed in a transversal way.

Theoretical contributions: We propose that the geography of a pandemic combat occurs unevenly by the innovation ecosystem actors. Moreover, the helices ordering refers to the theoretical development process and not to the complementarity of the role between actors.

Practical implications: This article highlights the need for integrated management of the innovation ecosystem’s initial actions in a pandemic, preventing regions from being neglected, especially those with lower levels of wealth or quality of life.


COVID-19; Innovation; Innovation ecosystem; Quadruple Helix; Triple Helix.

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