Innovation is the biggest challenge for Brazilian companies, says Embraer founder

Ozires-SilvaIn a conference about entrepreneurship in São Paulo, Ozires Silva, the 81-year-old Embraer founder, spoke on the importance of innovation for Brazilian companies. According to Silva, once you have created something innovative, the most important thing is to protect the asset. “If you don’t protect your intellectual property, you are going to have unfair competition”, said the man who created the aircraft company in 1969.

Silva also pointed out that the key for achieving innovation is human resources. “We have to seek the best opportunities and be oriented by the development of human resources and innovation”, he stated. The former president of Embraer cited South Korea as an example of country. “In that society, government and businesses have a central role in terms of reducing the risks to those who want to undertake”, explained Mr. Silva.

Perseverance was also mentioned as an important factor for business. “Remember that we don’t see tributes or monuments for persons who had given up”, state the former president of Embraer.

embraerCurrently, Embraer has over 17,000 employees with facilities in Brazil, US, Portugal, and China (through a joint-venture with China Aviation Industry Coporation II). It is the third largest company in the aircraft sector and lies among the 100 largest defense companies in the world. Embraer’s revenue was US$ 8.5 billion last year.

Ozires Silva led the creation of Embraer in 1969 in a government effort to boost Brazilian exports and innovation. Back then, Silva was already known for his creation of the Bandeirante airplane, which later became a benchmark of the company. In 1986, he left the company to be president of Petrobras.

In an initiative to avoid bankruptcy, Embraer was privatized in 1994. The main shareholders currently are Cia. Bozano Simonsen, Previ, Sistel, Dassault, and EADS.