Inderscience Publishers

Local system of innovation under strain: the impacts of structural change in the telecommunications cluster of Campinas, Brazil

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During the 1980s and early 1990s, Brazil set up an important telecommunications cluster in Campinas, a medium-sized city located 60 miles from Sao Paulo. Fostered by government policies, the cluster has evolved around a telecoms R&D Centre. Several small high-tech firms were established, grew, competed and cooperated with the local infrastructure and MNC subsidiaries. These, in turn, increased their local technological efforts and engaged in joint technological programs with local partners. However, structural reforms of the 1990s, including privatisation and liberalisation, have mostly aimed at maximising short-run financial benefits. As a consequence, technological strategy was put aside and the local system of innovation is starting to show signs of depression.

Keywords: development, local systems of innovation, telecommunications, Brazil

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