The Brazilian government's small firms association, Sebrae, will make nearly 1bn reais (US$598mn) available for innovation and technology projects through 2013, the organization said in a statement.
The so-called "Programa Sebraetec" intends to reduce waste while increasing productivity, employee safety and competiveness of products in domestic and foreign markets. Sebrae also hopes to "demystify" technology and counteract conceptions that innovation is a complex and expensive endeavor.
"Innovation is adding value for the consumer," said Sebrae technical director Carlos Alberto dos Santos. "Innovating is doing differently in order to do better, not necessarily at a higher cost."
The organization expects to evaluate 48,000 companies as part of the program and launch more than 800 projects between 2011 and 2013. Funds will be allocated to businesses seeking funds for software development and testing and hardware upgrades, among other purposes.