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Danish approach paves the way for innovation in Brazil

27.09.2016  17:58


The Danish MindLab and the Technological Institute were invited to inspire the Brazilian government to make innovations based on a Danish model.

"The public sector needs to change – a new mind-set is needed to create the best conditions for cooperation between citizens, businesses and the public sector!” was one of the main points made by Thomas Prehn, director of MindLab, under the Danish Ministry of Business and Growth, and Kasper Munk, head of the Inventor Advisory Service (IAS) at the Danish Technological Institute.

Brazil has asked Denmark for advice and guidance on how to improve innovation in the public sector, and as part of a larger strategic collaboration between the two countries’ governments, Prehn and Munk were invited recently to the Brazilian capital, Brasília, to give a workshop on innovation and prototyping in connection with the conference “Week of Innovation, Brasília 2016.”

“Innovation is not creativity and crazy ideas involving high risks. Innovation is the creation of value. And, by working with experiments and prototypes in the public domain, we will be more responsive and better able to more rapidly absorb changes in society into our work. At the same time, public development becomes open and transparent. This is an important premise in general, and it is indispensable for a country like Brazil,” says Prehn.

According to MindLab director Thomas Prehn, this way of working requires that the public, including the press, accepts the fact that not all experiments succeed: “When we work with small experiments and prototypes, we’re able to learn quickly and, therefore, to create better services and quicker solutions. With prototypes we can make small adjustments constantly and turn errors into learning experiences,” explains Prehn.

According to the two Danish experts, citizens should generally play a much larger role in both public development and overall growth of society: “We should see citizens as active co-creators of future growth, but this requires that we create room for and encourage citizens to participate actively,” emphasizes Munk, referring to citizens as an inexhaustible resource in terms of number and potential.

Kasper Munk is head of the Inventor Advisory Service (IAS), a unique innovation initiative funded by the Danish Agency for Science Innovation, that has been helping Danish citizens since 1972 to mature and execute their ideas for the benefit of society. For example, during the period 2000-2009, the Inventor Advisory Service helped approx. 200 Danish citizen ideas become commercialized in cooperation with existing businesses. During the same period, the top 16 of these inventions generated 2.7 billion DKR in revenue and created more than 1,000 new jobs.

“For me there’s no doubt that good ideas from citizens have huge potential and that the Inventor Advisory Service’s practical approach, tailored to Brazilian conditions, can make a significant societal and social difference. We need to make the creation of value a citizens’ discipline,” concludes Munk.

About the conference: Semana de Inovação em Gestão Pública 2016, ”Week of Innovation, Brasília 2016”

The Danish MindLab and the Technological Institute were invited to give a lecture on innovation in the public administration of Denmark, in continuation of the opening of the Danish-inspired innovation lab G*NOVA on 17th of August 2016. Representatives from the two entities were also asked to make concrete suggestions for how Brazil can establish and implement more open and participatory processes in its public administration. The presentation took place at an Innovation Week in Brazil. The ”Week of Innovation” was arranged by the Brazilian Ministry of Planning, Development and Management and held in Brasília.

The conference primarily addressed Brazilian government leaders and officials interested in learning about innovation. The focus of the conference was to promote and engage participants in a purposeful debate about the prospects of development, management and innovation in Brazil and the world as a whole.

For further information, please contact:

Gustav Jensen, The Royal Danish Embassy, Brasília, +55 (61) 996647589,

Thomas Prehn, MindLab, +45 91337192,

Kasper Munk, Inventor Advisory Service (IAS), Technological Institute, +45 72202805,