After launching last July the Shock Plan for Science and Innovation that contemplated 1,000 direct investment between 2020 and 2021, the Council of Ministers has approved the Spanish Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2021-2027 , with the objective of doubling public and private resources to reach 2.12% of GDP in investment in these areas by 2027 .
It is a multi-year frame of reference with objectives shared by all of the Public Administrations with competences in the field of promoting scientific, technical and innovation research, they point out in a statement from the Ministry of Science and Innovation.
One of the main objectives of the Strategy is to promote private investment in R&D in order to double the sum of public and private investments in R&D, until reaching 2.12% of GDP in 2027 (in 2018, last data available, investment was 1.24% of GDP). “This important increase is essential after a decade of budget cuts and administrative difficulties for Spanish science and innovation.”
This Strategy is designed for a phase of expansion of resources, with a gradual orientation that allows the ” consolidation” of a Science, Technology and Innovation System of greater size and power in the long term. To do this, it will try to increase the budget dedicated to R & D & I during the 2021-2027 period and encourage private investment, until it reaches the EU average, in particular through direct aid (subsidies), and favor the establishment of adequate lines to facilitate the use of European funds, as well as compliance with the State Aid regulations.
The objective is “to generate a productive fabric , based on current strengths, more innovative and dynamic . ” This will increase competitiveness and, with it, the generation of quality employment and ensure the long-term sustainability of the social system, by investing in the quality of life of future generations., The Ministry explains
For this, the Strategy raises the need for a State Pact, equivalent to others carried out by the European and international community, which “provides stability” and is immediately translated into “a forceful investment in science and innovation” .
“The health crisis has placed science in a prominent place in Spanish society and in the decision-making of administrations, and has highlighted the role of science and access to knowledge as essential levers in reconstruction plans Spain and the EU “. However, the crisis has also brought to the fore the decisive “insufficient science and innovation system in strategic sectors” and the need to develop an open and robust pan-European research model .
Scientific and technological itinerary
The main novelties and priorities of the Strategy include the design of a scientific and technological pathway to access the “R & D & I system comparable to that of the neighboring countries (Tenure Track)”. Likewise, a technological itinerary will be elaborated in which the figure of Technologist included in the Science Law of 2011 will be developed.
On the other hand, the structuring of the programs in national missions, the reinforcement of innovation ecosystems, the increase in projects that lead to the Sustainable Development Goals, the incorporation of the gender perspective, the reinforcement of research and innovation, also stand out. in health, the consolidation of a network of infrastructures and scientific-technical equipments that develop excellent and open science, the promotion of the associations of the Horizon Europe program and the promotion of private R + D + I through tax incentives adapted to the companies of the science and innovation system.
Furthermore, this Strategy articulates a series of objectives and priorities that must be faced in the coming years. Among the former stands out “the need to generate scientific knowledge and leadership”, for which it is necessary to optimize the position of the research staff and institutions, as well as the quality of their infrastructures and equipment. In isolation, there is a need to increase Spain’s capacity to ” attract, recover and retain talent “, for which the professional progress and mobility of research staff in the public and private sectors will be facilitated, and their ability to influence the decision making.
Another objective is to promote public-private collaboration to favor the transfer of knowledge and develop two-way links between science and companies, through the mutual understanding of needs and objectives, especially in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). For this, it will be necessary to ensure public-private cooperation in the different stages of the value chain, from the initial phases of the development of technologies in which the application of knowledge will be favored, until the arrival on the market of products of interest to the society.
The development of this objective implies promoting R + D + I in the Spanish business fabric and encouraging the group of innovative companies to generate ecosystems with greater capacity and critical mass.
Health : new therapies, accurate diagnosis, cancer and aging, and special emphasis on infectious diseases.
Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society : genesis of the human being, cognition and language
Security for Society : inequality and migration; the market and its tensions; the protection of society and cybersecurity.
Digital world, Industry, Space and Defense : AI, next generation internet, robotics, physics, mathematics, communication networks
Climate, energy and mobility: fight against climate change, decarbonisation, mobility and sustainability
Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources and Environment : from biodiversity to the smart and sustainable agri-food chain and the study of water and oceans.