The conceptual perspective of "business platform" intent to demonstrate that in the current situation, industries can jointly establish innovations through formal exchanges of expertise between a "leader firm and its complementary." The research had qualitative and exploratory character, using grounded theory techniques and thematic content analysis of five in-depth interviews made to automakers and suppliers of flex-fuel technology. The flex-fuel technology as a "business platform", presented the following results: there were modifications in the architecture of the engine flex-fuel-related components; the technology emerged from a strong relationship of exchange of expertise among the "Modules "(the systemists and the automakers). The interviewees reported the existence of co-design in the development and application part of this technology. The power of the automakers in the "architecture" of the flex-fuel platform is also highlighted by the leadership in the chain of the automotive industry. Finally, it was elaborated a model of “flex-fuel business platform from the concepts drawn from the interviews. It was concluded that the flex-fuel platform is led by automakers that hold the core architecture of the engine. Innovations of high aggregated value, as the case of flex-fuel, require partnerships and standardization with "complementary" (large and small suppliers).
Key words: Flex-fuel technology, business platform, automotive industry.
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