Nationalism, Private Initiative and Technological Research:The Origins of a Debate

abstract of "Nacionalismo, Iniciativa Privada e o Papel da Pesquisa Tecnológica no Desenvolvimento Industrial: Os Primórdios de um Debate"  (com Maria Helena M. Castro), Dados - Revista de Ciências Sociais (Rio de Janeiro, IUPERJ) 28, 1, 89-111, 1985

Founded in the early 1920s and first known as the Experimental Station for Fuel and Ore, the National Institute of Technology of Rio de Janeiro - the INT - was a milestone in the history of introducing modern technological and industrial mentality into Brazil. During the 1920s and 30s, the Institute contributed in diverse ways to the foremost technological projects of the time - the establishment of the steel industry, the utilization of domestic coal, the use of alcohol as fuel, exploiting petroleum and introducing technical norms for budding industry. During these years the debate regarding the role of the State, private initiative and foreign capital in national development was already under way. In the well-known outcome, all of these fators played a part; the State, however, prevailed in precisely those areas in which INT influence was most pronounced. Yet, the INT, by virtue of its origins and leadership, pledged itself more often to private-based solutions. This paper describes these events and considers the possible effect that the Institute's orientation had in its increased estrangement from power during the post-war period. <