In rapidly changing environments, innovation allows firms to maintain their market competitiveness. A firm with well-developed innovation capabilities stands a better chance to sustain its competitiveness. Additionally, strategic intelligence practices will also contribute to positive results, as a firm's economic sustainability depends on installed processes to obtain informational elements coming from the external environment to support its decision-making process. In this way, innovation often benefits from intelligence processes, especially when it provides new knowledge, monitors technological trajectories, and expands understanding of the external environment. To survive in a competitive market a firm needs innovation capabilities and strategic intelligence practices, but how are they related? Firms that are proactive in terms of their strategic intelligence practices have more developed innovation capabilities when compared to those reactive ones? This study aims to identify whether firms with activities associated with the strategic intelligence process differ in terms of their innovation capability level, verifying differences when comparing reactive and proactive groups. We analyzed secondary data of 1,331 Brazilian manufacturing firms. From the analysis, we have identified that development, operations and management capabilities are higher in those firms where there are strategic intelligence practices in place.