Purpose: The establishment of partnerships between companies, government and universities aims to enhance innovation and the technological development of institutions. The biotechnology sector has grown in recent years mainly driven by its cooperative business model. Compared to other countries, this sector is slowly advancing in Brazil, with delays in science, technology and innovation, especially in the private sector. This paper aims to examine, through social network analysis, the collaborative networks between institutions that filed patents in biotechnology - medicinal preparations from plants - whose inventions had Brazil as the priority country. Design/methodology/approach: The study of technological cooperation using patent documents is a reliable approach as they serve as good indicators of the interactions between organizations that focus on innovation and development of new product. Social network analysis of cooperation networks helps to understand the connections between patent assignees, and how they establish relationships. Findings: Results show that public universities are the institutions that most deposit patents, as well as those that co-operate the most, especially Universidade of Campinas. The study also reveals the critical role of Research Support Agencies in stimulating research and technological development, which result in new technologies. Originality/value: The study applied the social network analysis to provide an overview of the interactions among Brazilian institutions with the purpose of helping in decision-making and inciting public policies to leverage the biotechnology sector.