Innovation has been gaining increasing participation in economic and industrial development studies. Today, the role played by innovation in the industrial capacity building process of firms is being increasingly discussed, being considered as a key factor to reach and sustain a competitive position in the market, both nationally and internationally. However, although it has long been recognized, it is from 1990 onwards that the importance of innovation activity as a supportive factor of competitiveness comes to be effectively part of business discourse.

Today, it is known that deliberate business commitment to innovation activity is relatively lower in emerging economies, such as Brazil. However, this fact does not represent the lack of innovative technological capabilities in firms operating in countries of this nature. The problem is that metrics conventionally used to examine the level of innovation capacity development in the country are macroeconomic statistics and indicators, number of patents, and volume of formal investments in research and development. Such indicators are unable to capture how the innovation process occurs within the intra-organizational framework, since they capture only the top of the innovation activity.

There is, therefore, a shortage of metrics and indicators for the measurement of innovation capacities that are geared to the reality of firms operating in emerging economies, in this specific case, in the Brazilian economy. That is, it is necessary to create indicators that are capable of measuring technological innovation capacities from the process, which is not always deliberate and structured, that occurs in the intra-organizational context. Therefore, this research project aims to develop non-conventional indicators to measure the innovative technological capabilities of Brazilian industry firms.