El sistema español de innovación, 1960-2015



El sistema español de innovación, 1960-2015
The Spanish Innovation System in
the international context, 19602015: Advances and setbacks
José M. Ortiz-Villajos
Complutense University of Madrid
First World Congress of Business History, Bergen, 25-27 August 2016
The unemployment rate in Spain
has situated over 20% after 2008
The low level of innovation is
one of the explanations
Promoting R&D is essential for
reindustrialization & job creation
But improving the Spanish
Innovation System is complex
The first step is to have an idea
of its historical evolution
1. R&D investment in Spain
2. Who carries out the R&D investment?
3. Results of the innovation system
• Scientific publications
• Patents
• High-tech industry output
4. Conclusions
1. R&D investment in Spain
Total R&D has increased 43
times from 1964 to 2013
• Two periods of growth (1964-92;
• Two periods of recession (1993-94;
R&D/GDP increased 10 times:
0.13 % (1964) → 1.3 % (2013)
• After 2 years fall (1993-4) the R&D
total expenditure recovered the
level of 1992 in 1996 (4 years)
• But the R&D/GDP (R&D effort) level
required 8 years to recover (2000)
• A fall of 6 years (2009-14) may have
a devastating effect on the Spanish
Innovation System
Spain has approached the OECD
R&D effort average:
• But since 2008 this trend has reversed
• The fall of the Spanish R&D effort in the
crisis is anomalous (in the OECD & EU
countries it has increased on average)
Spain vs specific countries in
1981-2012 (R&D effort):
• Persistent distance in relation to USA,
Japan, Germany…
• Finland, Korea = from backward to
leading positions
• Great progress of China
• Differences with Italy and Portugal
Conclusion (Part 1)
• The Spanish R&D system has
progressed but insuficiently
• There are structural obstacles
2. Who carries out the R&D investment?
The three sectors doing R&D in
Spain have grown since 1964:
• Universities (x 185); Companies (x 89);
Government (x 12)
Changes in the relative weight:
• 1964 = Government (68%); Companies
(26%); Universities (6%)
• 1974 = Firms’ R&D reached its all-time
highest weight (58%) (international level)
• 1992 = Universities reach 2nd place (30%)
Public vs Private R&D
• Entrepreneurial R&D has been
historically pro-cyclical in Spain
• Public R&D has been anti-cyclical
(except in the current crisis)
Compared to other countries?
Weakness of the entrepreneurial
R&D in Spain, 1981-2012:
• More pro-cyclical than in other countries
• Low weight (50%): other countries (70%)
Entrepreneurial R&D is key for a
sustained economic growth
• The only way rich countries have to be
competitive with emerging ones
The Achilles heel of the Spanish
innovation system:
• Firms’ R&D = 0,7%/GDP vs 1,6% OECD
• University & Government R&D near the
European standards, but quite
disconected from the private sector
Conclusion (Part 2):
• The Spanish entrepreneurs must be
convinced about the benefits of R&D
• Institutional and educational changes in
the country are also needed
3. Results of the innovation system
The inputs of the innovation system (R&D)
can be invested more or less efficiently:
• Thus, it is essential to analyze also its outputs (results)
to evaluate its efficiency and specific orientation
Three different types of results:
• Scientific publications (Universities and Government)
• Patents (mainly companies)
• High-tec industry output (only companies)
Spanish scientific
production 1996-2013:
• 23.000 → 80.000 publications
• 600 → 1.800 x million inhabs.
• 2% → 3% of world output
Convergence with the
developed countries
• In publications per capita
• In quality (quotes/publication)
Conclusion (science):
• Spain has achieved an acceptable
level in scientific output
(although it still lacks first level
R&D centers, Nobel Prizes…)
• What about industrial results?
Patent applications by residents
in Spain, 1980-2012:
• Six-fold increase in 30 years
• “Patent families” (ca. 50% duplicated)
• Increasing international projection of
the Spanish technological output
Ranking of countries in patents
per capita
• 1st = Japan & Korea
• 2nd = Switzerland, Germany, USA,
• Spain, Italy… much lower level
• China, emerging
• But total applications do not
discriminate patents by quality
Ranking by “triadic” patents
per capita:
• Japan remains in a prominent position
• Korea comes down = below Germany,
Finland, USA…
• Spain, Italy, China… remain in the
lower level
Countries in the “lower level”
by “triadic” patents per capita
• Italy stands out = 4 times more than
Spain and 10 times more than Portugal
• China’s technological level is still quite
Conclusion (patents):
• Spain, more backward in terms of
industrial than scientific results
• This reflects the weak entrepreneurial
R&D investment
Spanish companies investing
in R&D, 1980-2012:
• 5,500 (2002) → 13,000 (2008) →
8,000 (2012)
• 5% firms with more 10 workers
• Not comparable internationally
Production of hightechnology sectors (% GDP)
• 1st) Finland, Sweden & UK
• 2nd) Germany & France
• 3rd) Italy, Portugal, Spain, Poland
Low technological level of
the Spanish economy
• Even lower when looking only at
the manufacturing sector
4. Conclusions
The Spanish Innovation System has progressed in the last decades:
• R&D investment = 0.13% → 1.28%/GDP (1964-2013)
• 600 → 1.800 scientific publications/million inhabitants (1996-2013)
• 50 → 104 patents originated in Spain/million inhabitants (1980-2013)
But the improvement has been insufficient:
• The private part of the R&D is the most backward compared to other countries
• The production of patents has progressed much less than the scientific output
• Few companies doing R&D and low weight of high-tech production
These data and the greater impact of the 2008 crisis in Spain show
somehow a structural resistance to innovation:
• The Spanish economy has opted for depending from the importation of foreign
technology rather than producing it
• This model has “worked” during the years of prosperity, but has shown its
weakness since 2008 (high and sustained unemployment rate)
• The new economic circumstances demand to bet on innovation and education