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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Infectious Diseases - Public Health and Epidemiology - Science Policy

Enabling Policy Planning and Innovation Management through Patent Information and Co-Authorship Network Analyses: A Study of Tuberculosis in Brazil
Published: Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Author: Alexandre Guimarães Vasconcellos et al.

by Alexandre Guimarães Vasconcellos, Carlos Medicis Morel


New tools and approaches are necessary to facilitate public policy planning and foster the management of innovation in countries' public health systems. To this end, an understanding of the integrated way in which the various actors who produce scientific knowledge and inventions in technological areas of interest operate, where they are located and how they relate to one another is of great relevance. Tuberculosis has been chosen as a model for the present study as it is a current challenge for Brazilian research and innovation.


Publications about tuberculosis written by Brazilian authors were accessed from international databases, analyzed, processed with text searching tools and networks of coauthors were constructed and visualized. Patent applications about tuberculosis in Brazil were retrieved from the Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) and the European Patent Office databases, through the use of International Patent Classification and keywords and then categorized and analyzed.


Brazilian authorship of articles about tuberculosis jumped from 1% in 1995 to 5% in 2010. Article production and patent filings of national origin have been concentrated in public universities and research institutions while the participation of private industry in the filing of Brazilian patents has remained limited. The goals of national patenting efforts have still not been reached, as up to the present none of the applications filed have been granted a patent. The analysis of all this data about TB publishing and patents clearly demonstrates the importance of maintaining the continuity of Brazil's production development policies as well as government support for infrastructure projects to be employed in transforming the potential of research. This policy, which already exists for the promotion of new products and processes that, in addition to bringing diverse economic benefits to the country, will also contribute to effective dealing with public health problems affecting Brazil and the World.