The COTEC Foundation is a business initiative, whose aim is to promote technological culture and innovative approaches. Over fifty companies and public and private organizations form part of the Foundation.
Among other initiatives, COTEC draws up a comprehensive annual report on the situation of research, development and innovation in Spain.
The COTEC 2013 Report was presented several days ago in Madrid. Despite generally being in line with most of the information on R&D activities in recent years, its indicators provide a complete, detailed picture that we should take on board.
The study is drawn up using only official data, and it analyses factors related to investment, human resources, funding and R&D transfer, among others. One of the most striking aspects of the Report is the statement that, for the first time in 18 years, Spanish government R&D spending was lower in 2011 than in the preceding year. Specifically, cuts amounted to 169 million euros, which represents a drop of 5.7%.
In the private sector, figures have been negative since 2008. Thus, according to the COTEC analysis, between 2008 and 2011 the number of companies carrying out innovative activities dropped by 43%, whilst the number of companies undertaking R&D activities fell by 36%.
In the relevant indicator of R&D expenditure, there was a 2.8% drop in 2011, so that the overall figure as a percentage of GDP stood at 1.33%.
These are just some of the details that reveal a complex situation, in which only the increase in exportation of capital goods contributed positively to the set of data.
To complement the statistical section of the Report, COTEC administers a survey to a panel of experts comprised of over 100 professionals. Of these, 75% considered â€œthat the following issues, among others, are very important: the lack of allocation of human and financial resources to innovation in companies; in Spanish financial markets, the lack of a culture of funding innovation; the inadequate role of policies to support research, technological development and innovation among the priority actions of government departments; and the lack of a culture of collaboration between companies and between companies and research centres”.
The COTEC Report can be accessed through the Foundation’s website, after free registration in its databases.