Author: Luiz A.B. de Castro

Opportunities and Limitations for Biotechnology Innovation in Brazil

eBook: US $49 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $120
Printed Copy: US $96
Library License: US $196
ISBN: 978-1-60805-753-5 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-60805-696-5 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2013
DOI: 10.2174/97816080569651130101


Brazil has emerged as a significant financial and industrial power in recent times. Brazil is poised to become a significant player in the field of biotechnology, internationally, by taking advantage of circumstances not available in other countries, particularly its native biodiversity. This will, in turn, have an effect on commercial and entrepreneurial opportunities in the region.

Topics covered in this text include adjustments that must be made in the regulatory framework to assure the success of business investment. This investment is crucial for training R&D scientists and developing new technologies. The book also covers a debate on transgenic plants which had political ramifications in the region and slowed the adoption rate of genetically modified organisms by almost a decade. The opportunities for commercialization of recombinant DNA technologies in the country are also presented.

Opportunities and Limitations For Biotechnology Innovation In Brazil presents a concise overview of the biotechnology industry in Brazil and will be of great interest to a wide range of readers including researchers, biotechnology graduates, as well as both local and international investors.


Efforts to develop Biotechnology in Brazil exceed three decades. Almost coincident with the advent of the recombinant DNA technology which became publically known early in the seventies when Herbert Boyer expressed the insulin gene in E.coli. A couple of scientists in Brazil repeated this experience almost at the same time and the interest for the area came to the agenda of a public company called EMBRAPA founded in the seventies to work with agricultural research in Brazil. The author built in EMBRAPA since 1980 a platform to develop plant genetic engineering training young scientists in areas such as plant cell and molecular biology to be able to incorporate this nascent technology to the plant breeding efforts of EMBRAPA. This work took place at CENARGEN –The National Center for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology the most prominent institution working in this area for the last three decades. The public perception in Brazil and many other countries was turned against this new technology for political reasons and when the first engineered soybean resistant to glyphosate was released commercially a campaign against transgenic plants prevented the application of this technology in agriculture for almost a decade in Brazil. The world however adopted recombinant DNA technology in the pharmaceutical area and most products utilized internationally by the public in this industry including Brazil are genetically engineered. Brazil tried to follow the growth of Biology commercially and introduced in consonance to TRIPS legislations to protect intellectually the applications of biology in genetics since the mid nineties. That was necessary but not sufficient. We had to deal with a rampant inflation for decades and had to train a number of scientists for the same time as well as investing institutionally in the area of Biotechnology. This E Book tells this story and is written now because apparently after Brazil became an emerging power financially it seems there are more opportunities now than before. So, this EBook is intended for those who want to know some of the history of Biotechnology in Brazil, since its inception, hopefully to conclude positively about the power of this technology and the opportunities we have in our hands now ,that were not in the context of this now called life science innovation area when we started these efforts at CENARGEN in 1980. Brazil may become a relevant actor in this area internationally taking advantage of some circumstances here that are not available in other countries , particularly our biodiversity. We make explicit indicators to support this thesis but the EBook describes adjustments that must be made to assure the success of our investments particularly to the laws – the regulatory framework , that are at the base of this crescent international market. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the Nature Biotechnology blog, Trade Secrets, which initially published several discussions found in this e-book. The collection of those original blog posts can be found here:

Member of the Brazilian Academy of Science.CEO of ABCP –Agriculture Biotechnology
SHIS QI 28 Conjunto 16 ,Chacara Dom BoscoLagoSul
Brasilia DF