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Jorge Roberto Malinovski e Edilson Batista de Oliveira

Director of Malinovski and Researcher at Embrapa Florestas


Expoforest and Forest Startups Conecta

Co-author: Carolina da Silva Saraiva, Head of DIPOI, Division of Prospecting Opportunities for Promotion of Innovation, of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock

The Legal Framework for Startups and innovative entrepreneurship, established by Complementary Law 182, of 2021, presents measures to promote the business environment and increase the supply of capital for investment in innovative entrepreneurship.

The Framework recognizes innovative entrepreneurship as a vector of economic, social and environmental development; encourages the creation of environments favorable to innovative entrepreneurship, valuing legal security and contractual freedom as premises for promoting investment and increasing the supply of capital directed to innovative initiatives. It facilitates the modernization of the Brazilian business environment, in light of emerging business models, and encourages innovative entrepreneurship as a means of promoting the productivity and competitiveness of the Brazilian economy and generating qualified jobs.

It enables the improvement of public policies and instruments to promote innovative entrepreneurship; cooperation and interaction between public entities, between the public and private sectors and between companies, with the formation of an innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem and promotion of the competitiveness of Brazilian companies, and internationalization and attraction of foreign investments.

In this environment, Forest Startup Conecta was created, an initiative developed jointly by Embrapa Florestas, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and Malinovski. Its objective is to promote the visibility of startups, collaborating so that innovative technological solutions (products and processes) meet demands and enable new businesses in the Brazilian forest-based sector, to make production chains more efficient, generate jobs and income.

As part of Forest Startup's actions Conecta, together with the technical events of Expoforest 2023 (5th Brazilian Forestry Meeting and 19th Wood Harvesting and Transport Symposium), the 1st Expoforest Award was promoted of Startups in the Forest Plantations Sector.

Thus, technologies presented by startups included the segment of trees planted in monocultures and in Crop-Livestock-Forest integration, involving technical areas presented in Table 1, highlighted, defined based on the classification of Startups from Embrapa's Radar Ag Tech Brasil, SP Ventures and Homo Ludens, with adjustments for the forestry plantation sector.

The cases presenting the Technologies were evaluated by several representatives of the forestry sector, involving forestry companies, state associations and public and private institutions. For evaluation, the following items were considered: 1. Technical feasibility, 2. Technology differential, 3. Potential for technical impact, 4. Potential for economic impact, 5. Technology development phase, 6. Deadline expectations and 7. Vision of the future.

The selected technologies became part of the “Forest Startup Conecta - Technologies with high potential for contributions to the forestry sector” Portfolio. The Portfolio, to be published in digital format, will present information sent in the Registration Form involving items about Technology such as: feasibility, differential and potential impact. It is widely publicized in the forest plantation sector, in order to promote visibility for partners and potential customers.

In this first edition of the Award, 27 technologies were selected as finalists (described in Table 2). Based on the indications of their authors, these technologies stood out with a strong range of areas of activity, presenting synergy with 22 of the 26 technical areas established in Table 1.

The three best-ranked technologies for each of the categories, General and Students, received trophies in the final block of Technical Events. A technology, which had a woman as responsible, received the “Startup Highlight” trophy from the organization Rede Mulher Florestal Forest Woman”.

The winning startups in this edition were, in the general category, Quanticum, Quiron Digital and Radaz. In the Students category, they were Peephole and Smart Timber. Radaz also received the “Highlight Startup Mulher Florestal” trophy from Rede Mulher Florestal.

The award was supported by: Bahian Association of Forestry Companies, Brazilian Association of the Mechanically Processed Wood Industry, Santa Catarina Association of Forestry Companies, Gaúcha Association of Forestry Companies, Minas Gerais Forestry Industry Association, Paraná Association of Forestry Companies, Mato Grosso Reforesters Association, Agribusiness Development Center, Cubo Itaú, São Paulo Association of Producers, suppliers and consumers of planted forests, Homo Ludens, Radar AGTech, Rede Mulher Florestal, Sul-Mato-Grossence Association of Producers and Consumers of Planted Forests, SP Ventures and Vbio.

Scientific research, startups and the forest resources of Brazilian biomes: Forest Startup Conecta constitutes a portfolio of technologies developed by startups for the entire Brazilian forestry sector. At the Expoforest technical events, only the forest plantations segment received awards. However, in its continuity, Forest Startup Conecta starts to involve Startups that develop technologies for the components of all forest formations, in all biomes, their restoration and protection, their environmental products and services. In terms of economic potential, with the preservation of forest resources in Brazilian biomes, there is a huge space for work involving biodiversity.

Embrapa researcher Dr. Alfredo Kingo Oyama Homma, in his book “Extractivism, biodiversity and biopiracy in the Amazon”, highlights, very appropriately, the need to understand the limitations of the extractive economy and to establish concrete goals of incorporating new biodiversity products into the production process, connected with the sector business, and credit programs, technical assistance and associations with developed countries with mutual guarantees, following the life cycle of the products. A list of patents requested by several countries on products from Amazonian plants (described in Table 3), presented by this author, highlights the economic interests of developed countries in Brazilian biodiversity. Brazil nuts, for example, had 73 patents applied for in the United States.

It should be noted that these are patents involving products or processes that could have been developed by Brazil, with potential for generating employment and income, based on innovative proposals and investments in scientific research and in enabling startups in the country. The Forest Startup Conecta portfolio will be kept active, with permanent dissemination, promoting the visibility of the technologies that participate in it, connecting startups with partners, investors and customers, in order to enable business in the forestry sector.