RIO DE JANEIRO, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff unveiled a 16-billion-U.S.-dollar plan Thursday to encourage companies to invest in technological innovation.
The government will allocate 32.9 billion reals (16.6 billion dollars) in the next two years for research and development by companies under a program dubbed "Innovate."
The program is the result of collaboration between private and public sectors, Rousseff said, adding innovation was a government strategy to spur development.
Brazil needs to add more value to its products, otherwise it is merely a commodities producer, she said.
The program will target seven main areas: agribusiness, energy, oil and gas, healthcare, defense, information and communication technology, and environmental sustainability.
A state-controlled company, the Brazilian Industrial Research Corporation (Embrapii), will be established to boost productivity in the industrial sector and promote cooperation between private companies and state-owned research institutions.