Global Experience in Policy and Program Development
Edited by Sarfraz A. Mian
Chapter 7: Science and Technology Based Entrepreneurship in Spain: Public Policies, Development Programmes and the Role of Universities
7. Science and technology based entrepreneurship in Spain: public policies, development programmes and the role of universities Jaume Valls-Pasola and Xavier Triado INTRODUCTION The Spanish economy has grown dramatically in the last 20 years. Economic growth indicators and living standards reflect a situation in the country that was hardly imaginable during the late 1970s, when the transition to democracy set in motion a process of economic modernization that allowed Spain to join the European Union in 1986. However, in terms of R&D indicators and overall innovation, the development has not been as encouraging. R&D spending in Spain in 2008 amounted to €14 700 million, the equivalent of 1.35 per cent of the country’s GDP (INE, 2009). From 2000 to 2008, R&D investment in current terms grew at an annual average rate of 13 per cent. But despite these positive figures, Spain is still far below the European average – both the EU-15 and the EU-25 (where average R&D spending in 2007 was 1.91 per cent and 1.83 per cent of GDP respectively). In contrast, it must be said that European figures have remained unchanged or slightly decreased in the past five years, while the trend of Spanish investment is clearly upward. Spain is currently at 16th place in the EU-27 ‘summary innovation index’ (European Commission, 2009a). Public administration and higher education finance 45.6 per cent of total Spanish investment in R&D. The business sector financed 45.0 per cent but its R&D expenditures were 54.9 per...
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