The Rise of a Natural Knowledge Economy in Brazil

In 2007, the British think thank Demos conducted the The Atlas of Ideas initiative, a research program that analyzed the new geography of science and innovation and attempted to map the countries that are innovating and predict the innovation centers of the future. The original Atlas of Ideas focused on explaining the rising tide of […]

To illustrate how far ahead Brazil is in the biofuel arena, the study highlighted the “Pró-alcool” plan of 1973 which encouraged the production of ethanol as a countermeasure to the petrol crisis. Currently, more than 27% of the car fleet in the country is composed of “flex” vehicles – which can use both gasoline and ethanol as a fuel. In 2007, “flex” cars represented almost 88% of the sales of new vehicles.

Another clear example of the “natural knowledge-economy” is the Brazilian company Embraer, the world’s fourth largest commercial airplane manufacturer. Embraer’s new plane Ipanema is the world’s first commercially produced aircraft to run solely on biofuels. The magazine Scientific American considered the invention as one of the greatest of the year.