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Spain - European Semester

The Europe 2020 Strategy set a 3% objective for R&D intensity for the EU as a whole and most Member States have adopted a national R&D intensity target for 2020. The European Semester, the EU's annual cycle of economic policy coordination, undertakes a detailed analysis of the EU Member States’ plans for R&I investment and structural reforms of national R&I systems, and provides them with recommendations.

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.

 
 

Research and Innovation Performance

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.

Report year
2016
Document type
Report type
R&I performance
Geo coverage
Publication date
10 November 2016

European Semester Country Report

Spain's research and innovation (R&I) system still faces the challenge of overcoming insufficient funding and structural weaknesses limiting its growth potential. Spain's science funding is not adequately reliant on international peer review and funding to universities and public research organisations does not follow performance. This reduces the quality and impact of scientific outputs. The country experiences a falling business R&D intensity and a decline in innovation performance with fewer innovative firms, including those growing fast, and weak and limited incentives for science-business cooperation. Spain's deterioration in public and private R&D intensities reached in 2014 its lowest level (1.20%) since 2007.

Spain needs to attract business R&I through increased science-business cooperation. The Spanish R&I system does in fact not provide adequate incentives for universities and public research organisations to engage in cooperation with businesses. Incentives are also required for businesses to increase their absorption capacity of highly skilled people. 

Research and innovation policy is shared with regions so, good coordination of central and regional government policies is needed for those policies to achieve greater economic impact. Weak coordination in Spain has led to a fragmented regional landscape of bodies and programmes to foster innovation activities, which is not easy for innovative firms to navigate, especially for the smallest ones.

Report year
2016
Document type
Report type
European Semester Country Report
Geo coverage
Publication date
26 February 2016

European Semester - Country specific recommendation

Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility (PSF)

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