The transmission network is the first link between large power generation facilities and electricity customers. It supplies energy at high voltages to substations, where the energy is distributed via the distribution network. The transmission network today operates with a high level of reliability, but presently a variety of technologies offers the possibility of great improvement in system performance.Sophisticated new monitoring systems may reduce the likelihood of system failures and disruptions that cause serious economic and social consequences. Emerging efficient technologies may also help to solve network expansion constraints, including difficulties to install new transmission lines and to incorporate growing participation of intermittent energy plants, like wind and solar. This paper starts presenting the status and perspectives of the Brazilian transmission sector showing the high level of investment planned until 2024 – 60% cumulative growth of line extensions and the same 60% rate for transformation capacity. In the second part the paper presents the emerging technologies and the potential opportunities it offer to increase, among other factors, the energy quality, O&M structure, availability and reduction of technical losses. These advantages impact not only for new assets but also for the existing ones. Considering the existing assets the paper starts a discussion about the regulatory framework ant the right economic signals to promote investment in innovation and automation. The paper then addresses the emerging regulatory of OFGEM in UK and the existing regulatory barriers that still exists internationally and in Brazil. The paper concludes by identifying an opportunity for developing a regulatory R&D project to deeply analyze this subject and to propose a new regulatory framework to promote an economical feasible innovation process for the Brazilian transmission sector. In the last part the paper presents the guidelines and structure of the project GESEL is starting to develop in the scope of the Brazilian ANEEL regulated R&D program.