As the economy shows signs of recovery in Brazil, the levels of innovation in the country remain stagnant, according to a new report.
Co-authored by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Global Innovation Index (GII) analyzes 127 countries, using a wide range of metrics to classify how innovative a nation is.
Criteria used by the study includes overall investment in information and communications technology, scores in government's online services and online participation, presence of global R&D organizations in the country and patent applications.
Within Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil ranks seventh and 69th in the overall classification, despite it being the largest economy in the region.
The most innovative Latin nation is Chile, ranked 46th overall and top of the regional list, followed by Costa Rica (53th), Mexico (58th), Panama (63th), Colombia (65th) and Uruguay (67th).
According to the GII, rankings in the region have not significantly improved relative to other parts of the world in recent years, and no Latin country currently shows any innovation outperformance relative to its level of development - but an improvement is necessary as the Brazilian economy bounces back.
"As Latin America, especially Brazil, is returning to positive growth rates, it is crucial to establish the foundations for innovation-driven development," said Robson Andrade, president at the Brazilian National Confederation of Industry (CNI), the highest-level organization representing the country's industry, commenting on the study's findings.
Innovation prospects from Brazil changed significantly over the last seven years: in 2011, when the country was one of the fastest-growing in the world, it ranked 47th in the GII - the best position ever recorded. The classification then fell to 69th in 2016 and 2017 as the recession hit investment levels.
Brazil's current position in the innovation ranking is only better than the result obtained in 2015, when it ranked 70th.
Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United States and the United Kingdom are the world's most innovative countries, according to the GII, with Switzerland ranking first for the seventh consecutive year.