Title: Challenges for R&I policy-making in Portugal
The main innovation challenges in Portugal are:
- Improving firms’ innovation performance by strengthening their technological and managerial capabilities: despite positive developments, innovation performance remains relatively weak. There are signs of insufficient in-house capabilities within firms.
- Stimulating the emergence of new companies in knowledge-intensive activities: even though in 2016 medium and high-tech exports reversed the previous downward trend, growth in knowledge-intensive service exports is still tepid. Efforts to stimulate entrepreneurship led to positive results, but difficulties in attracting knowledge-intensive FDI persist.
- Ensuring stronger linkages between science and industry: tackling this challenge requires sustained action from both ends. The challenge here is not just ‘technology transfer’, but rather the development of co-design and co-action initiatives involving players from both sides.
- Defining jointly developed agendas on innovation policy: this challenge is closely related to the previous one. Measures taken to involve the business sector in R&I policy design risk remaining limited. Further efforts to stimulate real ‘bottom-up’ initiatives for the definition of R&I agendas are still needed.
- Fostering the recruitment of researchers by business firms: Portugal has one of the lowest shares of researchers employed by businesses in the EU. Promoting employment of high-skilled workers, especially PhD holders, would enable human capital to be put to productive use. This would in turn contribute to address some of the previous challenges.