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.

Article

Human resources for research in Portugal and Spain

People who work in research are a pillar of the system. Are the working conditions of this sector favourable in Portugal and Spain or are they forcing a brain drain?

Infodata

Expenditure on R&D by sectors

In 2019, the percentage of total public spending assigned to R&D was 0.82% in Portugal and 1.24% in Spain, both below the EU-27 average.

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.

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.

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

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


Science

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.