Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades - Gobierno de España

Ciencia e innovación


With the reactivation of the European Union’s commitment to the Lisbon Strategy, which defines a series of measures for promoting growth and employment, the year 2010 was proposed as the deadline for bringing Spain into line with the more developed countries of the European Union in terms of Research and Development. In a future full of challenges, R&D&i is the key to sustaining and boosting growth, productivity and our society’s wellbeing.

With this purpose, whilst keeping up all the existing efforts in the area of R&D&i, the Government drew up the INGENIO 2010 Programme.

Since Spain is quite far behind the EU in the field of R&D&i both in terms of total R&D investment over the GDP and also in terms of corporate participation in financing R&D investment, and since Spain is also lagging very far behind in the majority of the Information Society indicators -affecting the competitiveness of our economy and the strength of its growth-, the Ingenio 2010 objectives were set, with the following goals:

  • To increase the ratio of R&D investment over the GDP.
  • To increase the contribution of the private sector to R&D investment.
  • To reach the EU-15 average in the percentage of GDP allocated to ICTs (information and communication technologies).

In the implementation of this strategy the necessary territorial coordination has been promoted so as to avoid wasting resources, increase the effectiveness of public R&D&i investment and reduce the existing territorial imbalances.

The commitments to INGENIO 2010 were as follows:

1. To increase public and private investment in R&D in order to place Spain in the ranking of the top ten EU countries for R&D investment. This is aided by an increase in State investment by means of both grant aid and soft loans.

2. To increase corporate participation to reach 55% of the total R&D&i investment. The plan is to achieve this goal by focusing resources on strategic lines that encourage public-private collaboration.

3. To make progress in the European research area. Boost the participation of Spanish companies and researchers in the European Framework Programme.

4. To eliminate red tape. A new Agencies Law, a new Code of Conduct in accordance with the Law of Grants and modifications in the Law for Public Contracts and the Constitutional Law of Universities are the measures taken to accomplish this goal.

5. To finance major lines of industrial research by means of public-private collaboration. CENIT projects, 50% co-financed by the private sector form a fundamental tool for making progress in this commitment.

6. To take a risk on technological companies.

7. To attract the best researchers. Through the Torres Quevedo programme, the number of university professors in the private sector has been increased. The target set has been accomplished and surpassed, with a total of 1,655 professors in 2010, whereas the minimum planned was 1,300.

8. To consolidate leading research groups. The CONSOLIDER Programme has increased cooperation between researchers with regard to projects run by leading consortiums and unique installations, mobilising a total of 2,000 million euros.

9. To win back and promote researchers. Plan I3 has backed the recruiting of reputed researchers.

10. To extend the Information Society. To bring Spain up to the European average in Information Society indicators, through the AVANZA Programme.

In order to reach these goals and bring Spain into line with the EU, the Government has focused its efforts on the following areas, through INGENIO 2010:

  • Increasing resources allocated to R&D&i
  • Focusing incremental resources on strategic actions which face up to the challenges of the science and technology system: The INGENIO 2010 Programme aims to gradually concentrate resources by means of strategic actions. The following instruments can be highlighted here:

CONSOLIDER Programme for stimulating the critical mass and research excellence. This is a strategic line destined to achieving research excellence by increasing cooperation between researchers and forming major research groups.

Projects CIBER and RETICS for promoting research of excellence in Biomedicine and Health Sciences. These projects are undertaken by the National Health System and the National Science and Technology System by developing and strengthening stable cooperative research structures.

The Plan I3 –Plan for Promoting the Incorporation and Intensification of Research Activity– to encourage the recruitment of reputed Spanish or overseas research professors into the Spanish National Science and Technology System under stable employment conditions.

The Strategic Scientific and Technological Infrastructures Fund aims to ensure that scientific and technological research equipment and facilities are available and up-to-date in the National Science and Technology System and to promote science and technology parks linked to Universities and Public Research Bodies and Unique Strategic Projects.

CENIT Programme (National Strategic Consortiums for Technological Research), to stimulate R&D&i collaboration between companies, universities, public research organisations and centres, science and technology parks and technology centres.

The Torres Quevedo Programme provides financing for the recruitment of professors and technology experts in companies.

Plans are also underway to set up a fund of venture capital funds (NEOTEC) to create and consolidate technological companies to invest in private venture capital funds which, in turn, invest in technology companies.

Plan AVANZA, the aim of which is to bring Spain into line with Europe in terms of the main Information Society indicators. The Plan is structured into three main lines aimed at bringing the general public, business and Public Administrations into the Information Society. Furthermore, there are a series of sectorial actions, one of the most important of which is the incorporation of the Information Society into Education.

EUROINGENIO 2010 is a Plan aimed at improving the results of the 7th European Union Framework Programme, a general plan encompassing the following four programmes:

EUROCIENCIA: promoted by the Ministry of Science and Innovation, which finances the creation of internal management structures within the Universities and Public Research Bodies which draw up strategic plans for participation in the EU Research and Development Framework Programme (7PM) and which assist researchers to present 7PM projects.

EUROSALUD: this programme finances hospitals to cover ordinary medical care by professionals participating in a 7PM programme, thereby enabling them to dedicate more time to research projects.

TECNOEUROPA: this programme offers financial and management grants for creating international innovation units.

INNOEUROPA: the purpose of this programme is to promote the participation of Spanish companies (mainly SMEs) in consortiums of the 7th Framework Programme, promoting the setting up of new companies.

In addition, a system has been set up for monitoring and assessing R&D&i policies, known as SISE (Integrated Monitoring and Assessment System). This is a tool designed by the Government to control the management of public grant schemes for financing R&D&i activities and improving the transparency and dissemination of these actions so that the Spanish general public can get a better knowledge of the activities financed by public funding.


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