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Innovation - considered here as initiatives to change the status quo, whether they are Industry 4.0, design, internationalization or sustainability - is regarded as one of the solutions that can get the sector on its feet in difficult times. The main objective of this article is to encourage materials manufacturers to look for alternatives to the traditional business and innovation model. Within its area of activity, Assintecal has sought to help in the development of these issues through observation of international movements and by means of practical actions that can stimulate this change.  

Important examples should be taken into account, such as the case of Germany, one of the precursors of Industry 4.0, which began its planning more than 20 years ago and has become a benchmark today, together with the United States and other European countries. Another case is that of Italy, which, in the European Union, has demystified the idea that design is not an innovation, when, in fact, something new is certainly incorporated into each new collection. 

The innovation policy at Assintecal follows these changes in the context of innovation at the global level, which translates into practical actions within its pillars: internationalization, design, sustainability, and innovation. Thus, innovation, which runs through all these pillars, takes center stage in all organizations. To this end, the materials play a significant role, as we see them as drivers of product innovation. Aware of this importance, Assintecal has defined, together with the By Brazil Institute (IBB), the guidelines to accelerate the management of innovation and incorporate it in materials companies. These guidelines include: 

1. Implementing an innovation culture, through talks - mainly in the production hubs – and  innovation seminars, in collaboration with science and technology institutes, universities, startups, and innovative companies;
2. Promoting innovation to a larger and more qualified audience (INSPIRAMAIS); 
3. Organizing technological missions to visit other sectors, technological hubs and sectors in different countries, thus engaging in a catching-up process, that is, observing what has already been done and what could be used immediately as leverage;  
4. Integrating the production chain has also been a way to do the catching-up. We have to bring together all the links in the chain, and then work on a challenge in a collaborative way, in which everyone interacts and contributes to development;
5. Setting up an innovation committee where the priorities and solutions to be sought are discussed; 
6. Establishing partnerships in Brazil and around the world with all those who can assist in this work. In this regard, we highlight the agreements with universities, the European Union and its various programs, in addition to the establishment of  cooperation networks with materials development companies.

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