Research and innovation: what are our stakes?
Is it countries with resources that make the biggest investment in science? Or is it that countries that devote the most efforts to science are those that generate the greatest wealth? This is the opening question of the third "la Caixa" Social Observatory Dossier, which analyses the current social context of science and to what extent it represents a value-added contribution to our society.
Research in Spain: the attitudes of companies, Governments and citizens
Science is a very relevant activity in economic terms, which also has a very favourable social perception. However, Spain invests less in R&D than the rest of the European countries, confirming a gap between citizens' attitudes and the will of politicians and businesses.
Is Spain losing out on international investment in R&D?
On the global economic map drawn up by the financial crisis of 2008, the emerging countries are displacing the developed countries in the attracting of foreign investment in R&D. What factors influence this phenomenon and how does it affect countries such as Spain?
"The present and the future lie in science and innovation"
Spain’s Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, Carmen Vela, describes in this interview the strengths of the current system and highlights those fronts being worked on with regard to the medium and long term.
The State and the Innovation Effort
From an economic viewpoint, innovation is considered to be an engine of growth because of its capacity to generate wealth and employment, a focus that has gained prominence since the start of the financial crisis in 2008. This review by the “la Caixa” Social Observatory comments on two books that analyse this issue from very different perspectives.
How much do countries invest in R&D?
How much do countries invest in R&D? In more dynamic economies, the business sector is the major funder, whereas in Southern Europe, the governments lead investment.
Index of Innovation in the European Union (2015)
This index allows comparison of the level of innovation in different regions. Measuring variables such as infrastructures, business activity or tangible results, it shows that in Spain there is still much work to be done.
Innovation Output Indicator (2014)
What are the possibilities for innovative ideas reaching the market in each country? In 2014, Sweden was the European Union country with the highest transfer of innovation to the market, whereas Portugal occupied the opposite position.
Applications for patents and for patents in social challenges
The total number of applications for patents is an indicator of companies' innovation effort. Specifically, those focusing on societal challenges measure the level of application of technology related with the environment and health.
Eco-innovation index (2015)
This indicator shows a view of innovation from an economic, environmental and social perspective. In 2015, the Spanish eco-innovation index was situated above that of the European Union.
Academic performance of students in sciences and attitudes towards science
How many students aged over 15 years have excellent results in sciences and how many hope to undertake a research-related career? In 2015, some 28.6% of Spanish students wanted to work in a scientific profession.
Intensive use of human capital
What is the percentage of people employed in knowledge-intensive activities? In Spain, approximately a third of the population, slightly below the European average.
How equitable is science?
This indicator offers a view of the distribution of university research work between men and women. Women represent just 21% of chair professors.
Open access to science
Open Access means the online and free availability of the results of research. In Spain, the proportion of accessible and restriction-free documents stands above the European Union average.
What does society think of science and technology?
In what areas will science and technological innovation have a positive impact in the next 15 years? The view of citizens.