Article

Evolution of science and technology in Portugal and Spain

Luis Sanz Menéndez, CSIC Institute of Public Goods and Policies, Madrid, Spain; Tiago Santos Pereira, Centre for Social Studies (CES) of the University of Coimbra, Portugal;

Research and innovation in Portugal and Spain have developed along parallel paths, albeit with some distinctive features. After emerging from dictatorships, the two countries joined the European Economic Community at the same time. After developing a trajectory of economic and research convergence with the rest of Europe, both countries faced setbacks from the 2008 financial crisis. Despite having improved throughout the past decades, investments in research and development (R&D) remain far below those of leading countries and the European Union targets of 3% of gross domestic product in total investment in R&D and 2% of gross domestic product in business investment in R&D. The technological composition of the economic structure in both countries is one limitation to greater investment, as is the limited employment of researchers in the private sector. In addition to private sector investments, greater attention can be given to the scientific, technological, and societal impact of research and innovation in both countries.
Key points
  • 1
       Portugal and Spain have been brought together through their membership in the European Economic Community in a process of economic and scientific convergence.
  • 2
       Following a period of sustained growth in R&D intensity in Portugal and Spain, R&D investment stalled following the Great Recession and has only recently resumed.
  • 3
       In 2019, Portugal and Spain spent 1.40% and 1.25% of gross domestic product on R&D, respectively, which is still far below the European Union’s 3% target.
  • 4
       R&D performed by the business sector is far behind the target of 2% of gross domestic product, standing at 0.73% in Portugal and 0.70% in Spain.
  • 5
       Research employment, scientific and technological impact, and societal impact have improved in both countries.

Classification

Tags

Subject areas

Related content

Article

Health safety knowledge in Portugal and Spain

This article examines how being motivated by disease prevention (“safety”) or pleasure promotion (“pleasure”) shapes the way people construe sexual health and pursue their sexual goals.

Public presentation of the Dossier on "Research and Innovation in Portugal and Spain"

What are the decisive factors in a country's research and innovation systems? What about the links between science and business? We present the new Dossier of the Social Observatory of the "la Caixa" Foundation.

Infodata

Scientists and engineers by sex

Portugal, together with Denmark, is an exception within the framework of the EU-27 and has percentages of women scientists and engineers that slightly exceed the European average.

Infodata

PhD qualifications by different branches of knowledge and by sex

While the participation of female PhD holders in Portugal is situated above the EU‑27 average in all fields of knowledge considered, in Spain the participation of female PhD holders is situated below the European average in the fields of art, humanities and social sciences.

Infodata

Innovative companies and business cooperation on R&D activities

In Portugal and Spain, the proportion of innovative companies, and the degree to which these collaborate with other companies and organisations, is below the EU-27 average

You may also find interesting

Science-business links in Portugal and Spain: untapped potential for innovation?

Article

Science-business links in Portugal and Spain: untapped potential for innovation?


Science

In Portugal and Spain, only 6% of PhD holders work in the business sector. There is a broad margin for improvement in the relationship between science and business.

Looking beyond mobile phones to understand the well-being of Portuguese young adults

Article

Looking beyond mobile phones to understand the well-being of Portuguese young adults


Science

In the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, technologies such as the mobile phone are a double-edged sword. The results of this study show that, on the one hand, problematic use of mobile technologies is associated with lower levels of well-being among young adults. On the other hand, Portuguese young adults believe that mobile technologies have been essential to their well-being through the lockdowns and social distancing rules triggered by the pandemic.

Health safety knowledge in Portugal and Spain

Article

Health safety knowledge in Portugal and Spain


Science

This article examines how being motivated by disease prevention (“safety”) or pleasure promotion (“pleasure”) shapes the way people construe sexual health and pursue their sexual goals.