Embraer: Brazil’s pioneering aviation giant

Author:Catherine Jewell
Position:Communications Division, WIPO

Brazil’s Embraer is at the forefront of global aviation technology. Its pioneering spirit and commitment to innovation and excellence have enabled it to become one of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, building jets for the commercial, executive and military markets. Wander Menchik, Head of Embraer’s Technology Development Program, offers an insider’s view on the importance of innovation ... (see full summary)


How did Embraer get started?

Embraer grew out of a national drive to develop aeronautical engineering and aircraft manufacture in Brazil. The company was founded in 1969 by Ozires Silva, a former major in the Brazilian Air Force.

Where does Embraer stand within the global aerospace industry today and what is the scale of its operations?

Embraer is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of commercial and executive jets, with substantial and growing operations in defense and security. In commercial aviation we have a client portfolio of more than 100 airlines in 60 countries, with 1,700 planes in operation. To date, Embraer has also delivered more than 1,000 executive jets to clients in 70 countries, and more than 50 armed forces around the world operate defense airplanes and systems supplied by Embraer.

What role does innovation play at Embraer?

Innovation is deeply rooted in the company’s culture and mindset. It is part of our daily routine and is not just limited to the development of new aircraft. Innovation permeates everything we do across the value chain, from the development of new and improved products, processes and business models to finding better ways to position ourselves in the global market. You could say that innovation is in our DNA.

How do you encourage innovation within the company?

We actively encourage innovation in various ways. Our Innova Program, for example, is a structured approach that seeks to encourage our highly skilled professionals to develop and implement new solutions, processes and strategies that benefit the company. Over the years we have also cultivated a working environment that encourages new ideas and rewards achievement. So there is a great deal of spontaneous innovation by employees as they go about their daily work. In our constant search for excellence, we actively support incremental innovation and encourage employee participation in improving internal processes.

We live to stretch the limits of what is possible, and give wings to what is still unimaginable. We live to innovate.


How does Embraer stay at the cutting-edge of innovation?

Our long-term survival depends on our ability to come up with and apply game-changing ideas and concepts. That is why every year we invest nearly 10 percent of our revenues in research and development (R&D) and in upgrading our industrial facilities. This is essential because it allows us to remain competitive within the global aviation market.


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