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Saturday, December 3, 2022
HomeEconomyOpinion - Ronaldo Lemos: A technology agenda for Brazil

Opinion – Ronaldo Lemos: A technology agenda for Brazil

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Any country that seeks development needs to decide what it wants from the technology. The reason is that to develop today it is necessary to participate in the knowledge economy. You can’t just live on nature. You have to live on ideas, big and small. Especially since the knowledge economy must be accessible to everyone.

In this context, the Brazilian agenda must be incisive. The first element is to create a national data policy. Public data is one of the country’s greatest assets to foster innovation.

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It is necessary to place them to generate wealth and intelligence processes. I will give an example. The country has the electronic invoice, which is an impressive achievement in itself. However, the data generated by this system is not used to its full potential.

Analyzing the aggregate of the country’s invoices, it would be possible to measure economic activity in a granular way. Understand which sectors are taking off, price formation, demand and supply movements, regional competitiveness and so on. These data, if well modeled and treated, could transform the country into a productive intelligence power, creating forces capable of fostering local development.

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This is a powerful application. A national data policy can go much further. It should look at public data as the country’s main input for innovation.

Developing access mechanisms, whether in the form of open APIs, sandboxes and other agile models of public-private partnerships. Access to data itself has as much power to trigger innovation processes as it is capital intensive. We need to wake up to this, we have no time to waste.

In addition to a national data policy, the agenda is broad. 5G needs to be applied in wide-ranging activities, such as industry 4.0, city administration, the health sector and connecting all public schools in the country with first-rate broadband. If 5G stays orbiting only the wealthiest individual consumers in big cities, we will fail miserably. In that case it would have been cheaper to stick with 4G and wait for the next wave.

Fostering GovTech is also essential. It is necessary to transform the public sector into a digital platform. Including the creation of a true and free digital identity for all citizens. The country also needs to decide what it wants to do with the energy transition.

How to balance the fossil wealth of the Brazilian territory with a transition to electricity, batteries and renewable sources. Our long-term future will depend on this smart balancing act.

We also need to migrate to a scientifically based agriculture. The country cannot be satisfied with just being competitive at the production end. It is necessary to compete in agricultural patents, in cultivars and in inputs protected by intellectual property. Ideally, work from Embrapa so that there is a Brazilian Syngenta or Monsanto. The agro needs to migrate more and more to the productive intelligence side.

Last, but not least, to take back our digital sovereignty, so that we are not just consumers or victims of technological advances produced outside the country.

For this, it is essential to think about international partnerships, not just with the US and Europe, but with China and India. All this is possible. Our duty as parents is to bring together knowledge, connectivity and infrastructure to foster the knowledge economy for everyone.

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