RIO Country Report Spain 2017

Fernández-Zubieta, A., Ramos-Vielba, I., Zacharewicz, T.
Research and Innovation Observatory country reports series

After the economic crisis, the Spanish economy is on a positive path of economic growth. The annual growth rate for 2016 was 3.3% and the economy is expected to keep growing at a rate of 3.1% in 2017. Unemployment decreased from 22.1% in 2015 to 19.6% in 2016,1 but remains at the second highest rate in the EU. Regarding Research and Innovation (R&I), Spain remains a ‘moderate innovator’ with a declining overall performance relative to that of the EU between 2010 and 2016 (by 1.8%) (EC, 2017b:16).2 The central government budget for R&I has been growing slightly in nominal terms since 2013, but the relative level remains very low. In 2017, R&I intensity reached 1.47% but remained far from the pre-crisis level (2.7% in 2008). Spanish Business Expenditure on Research and Development (BERD) intensity is modest (0.64% of GDP in 2016; EU-28, 1.3% in 2015). For the first time since the economic crisis, total BERD increased in 2015 and 2016, by 2% and 3% respectively (ICONO/INE-2017).