Asset Publisher

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.
EstadoCienciaEspa%C3%B1ayPortugalEN_1.png

Classification

Tags

Subject areas

Related content

Article

The STEM field is failing to attract female talent

In Spain, only 16% of STEM professionals are women. We analyse this gender gap.

Best practices

The use of public engagement for technological innovation

What is society’s opinion regarding the possible impacts of science and technology? Establishing citizen participation mechanisms is necessary to generate confidence and detect points for improvement.

Infodata

Expenditure on R&D by sectors

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

Infodata

Innovative companies and business cooperation on R&D activities

In Spain and Portugal, 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

Use of social media well-being adolescents

Article

Use of social media well-being adolescents


Science

Eight out of every ten adolescents consume contents on social media every day.

Attitudes towards climate change vary with age

Article

Attitudes towards climate change vary with age


Science

Young people often place greater importance on climate change than on the economic situation.

Suicide-related calls to 112

Article

Suicide-related calls to 112


Science

According to a study conducted in Valencia, suicide calls to 112 increased during the period 2017-2022.