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A National Innovation System is an interconnected network of public and private institutions that aims at the development and diffusion of new technologies. We use the Derwent Innovations platform to study the patent applications in Brazil between 2010 and 2020, and to identify the main technological areas that have benefited from the research conducted in the country. Our main methodological contribution is to present indicators that measure the technological importance and international scope of Brazilian patents. The results show that private companies rarely resort to intellectual property protection mechanisms and that public universities are responsible for most patent applications. This study concludes that private companies innovate little, and, as a result, academic research tends to act as a substitute for business investments in research and development, especially in software development, pharmaceutical outputs, and scientific instrumentation. On the other hand, Brazilian universities and companies are both being excluded from the global race for the Internet of Things patents that has characterized the fourth industrial revolution.
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