Business Strategy and Public Policy
Edited by Yannis Caloghirou, Nicholas S. Vonortas and Stavros Ioannides
12. Science and technology policy in Spain: 1980–20001 Pedro L. Marín and Georges Siotis Spanish Science and Technology (S&T) policy was non-existent prior to 1977. The legislation adopted in that year was to form the embryo of the Spanish national system of innovation (NSI). The notion of NSI, popularized by Nelson and Winter (1982), describes the interaction between ﬁrms and research institutions (both private and public) that carry out research activities. The functioning of an NSI, then, refers to the mechanisms through which these entities interact to generate and/or distribute the economically valuable output of scientiﬁc research across the economic fabric. In that sense, a Spanish NSI did not exist prior to 1977, and it is only during the 1980s that a more comprehensive set of legislation was adopted with the objective of developing a coherent S&T policy. The OECD established the distinction between NSIs that are missionoriented and those that are diﬀusion-oriented. Spain clearly falls in the latter category. The stated objectives, as well quantitative results, indicate that eﬀorts have been concentrated in fostering the adoption and diﬀusion of existing technology. Public policy has focused on fostering links between public research centres and private ﬁrms, the twin objective being to improve the technological base of Spanish enterprises and, at the same time, encourage public research entities to undertake economically valuable research. To that end, resources have been devoted to building the basic technology infrastructure, which would allow the Spanish NSI to...
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