1. Overview of the R&I system
In 2015, the Icelandic economy can be described as stable. Despite moderate growth, it faces challenges that put a strain on the Icelandic RDI landscape. Following a deep and long recession, including the banking collapse in 2008, an economic turning point was reached in 2011, when the economy began to grow again. In 2014, GDP per capita stood at €39,500, compared to the EU average of €27,300, and a GDP growth rate of 1.9%, compared with the EU average of 1.3%. Post-crisis budget cuts and capital controls, implemented to prevent capital flight following the banking collapse in 2008, remain partially in place. This has created difficulties for growing companies and has had an impact on RDI.
In 2013, Iceland’s innovation performance was below its level in 2007, but 2014 already saw signs of recovery. Performance relative to the EU stood at 12% above average in 2014.
R&I policy development and implementation is addressed at the national level.The Science and Technology Policy Council (STPC) is the main policy-making body in charge of design and coordination of Iceland’s R&D policy.
The Ministry for Education, Science and Culture is the key ministry in charge of R&D policy in Iceland supported by other line ministries, in particular the Ministry for Industries and Innovation.
Several other public bodies are responsible for promoting research and innovation in Iceland, including the Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannis) playing a key role at an operational level in supporting research, innovation and culture in Iceland as well as in disseminating information.