The Annual Growth Survey 2016 highlighted that investing in R&I at national level is critical for growth and that therefore Member States should continue to prioritise public investments in R&I, ensuring their efficiency and leverage with regard to business investment. Member States need to keep up the pace of reforms to ensure an investment-friendly environment. See more information about the European Semester.
The European Semester supports Member States' structural reforms in different policy areas to promote jobs, growth and investment. Research and innovation play a key role in this context. That is why the Commission gives recommendations to and closely work with the Member States to increase the performance of their national R&I systems.
Have a look and see how the country is performing.
R&D intensity fell from 1.58% of GDP in 2009 to 1.28% in 2015, diverging further from the EU average of 2.04% and the national target. This reduction of R&D investments, mostly driven by a contraction of private R&D expenditure, adversely affected total factor productivity.
Portugal has made much progress in improving its human resources base in science and technology and its scientific excellence from a relatively low level, but an integrated strategy to deliver the skills and knowledge needed for innovation and the upgrade of the economic structure is necessary.
There is still a lack of coordination between the various incentives for commercialising research outputs which constrains the transition towards a more innovation-driven economy. Portugal ranks low on public-private scientific co-publications and patent applications. Portugal occupies a very low (24th) position as regards the Innovation Output Indicator. Firms perceive universities as being too bureaucratic to invest in. Companies contract only a small amount of R&D services from other institutional sectors.
Framework conditions are not conducive to an innovation-friendly environment, as barriers to competitiveness still persist. Portugal is a "Moderate Innovator" in the European Innovation Scoreboard 2016. The country stands out from the EU average in entrepreneurial activity. Business survival rates are below 50% reflecting unfavourable framework conditions for business growth, innovation and scale-up. Portugal dropped 8 positions in the 2016 Global Competitiveness Report.