Technological analysis
Spain has been slow to adopt technological advancements compared to the other European countries, even though Spain performs well in knowledge creation, the innovation climate in Spain has not been ready. The situation has occurred because of the larger role of the public sector with respect to R&D development. The private sector has limited participation in enhancing R&D levels in the country. Spain need to unified R&D policy across regions as the autonomy of regional governments with respect to the R&D policy which led to lack of innovative practices. The increase in the number of authorities and the diversity of funding programs in Spain has increased the innovative system. However, the level of coordination among different levels must improve.
Spain ranks 16th on the European innovation index in a list of 27 nations. Spain total expenditure on R&D as a percentage of GDP stood at around 1.2 percent in 2007 to 2008. Spain has set a target to reach the R&D expenditure level of 2% of GDP by 2010, which is well below the 3% target fixed by Lisbon agreement for the European nations. It is expected that Spain government under the program of INGENIO 2010 will help in raising the private sector expenditure on R&D to 55% of total investment by 2010, as well as improving the overall innovation climate of Spain. Spain government has initiated measures to address the expected in innovation by revamping introducing new technologies and the educational system. The lack of innovation and entrepreneurship has emerged because of a low percentage of SMEs getting involved in innovation and co-operation, along with the low participation of the private sector and venture capitalists. Below show the analysis of Spain's technology landscape according to Datamonitor.
Analysis of Spain's technology landscape
Current strengths
Current challenges
Well-developed ICT sector
Well-developed infrastructure
Gross expenditure on R&D remains low
Involvement of the private sector
Future prospects
Future risks
Government policies promoting R&D
Significant opportunities in energy and ICT sectors
Lack of innovation and low number of patents
Current strengths
Well-developed ICT sector
Spain has a strong communications equipment market. The Spanish communications equipment market generated total among of revenues of $521.2 billion in 2008, it representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7 percent for the period spanning 2004 to 2008. In 2013, the Spanish communications equipment market is forecast to have a value of $577 million, an increase of 10.7 percent since 2008. Electricals and electronics retailers proved the most cost-effective distributors for the Spanish communications equipment market in 2008, generating total among of revenues of $249.8 million, equivalent to 47.9 percent of the market's overall value. The country's strong communication equipment market is expected to post positive growth rates in the medium term.
Well-developed infrastructure
Spain has a well-developed infrastructure to facilitate development of technology-intensive industries. Besides, the railways system is one of the best in Western Europe. Base on the Datamonitor, in 2008, the Spanish railway system covered 15,288 km, and 8,847 km of the area which were electrified. Air and water transport are also well developed with around 55 state-owned general interest ports and 58 commercial airports.
Current challenges
Gross expenditure on R&D remains low
Spain total expenditure on R&D (as a percentage of GDP) stood at 1.2 percent in 2007, which is much less than that of other developed nations. In comparison, France's expenditure was 2.13 percent of the GDP, 3.18 percent in Japan, 2.68 percent for the US, and 1.8 percent for Canada during the same year. The low expenditure on R&D has restricted related some activities in Spain. With the increase in the Spanish access to the European technology fund and innovation budget which aims at meeting the financing needs of research, the development and innovation of enterprises, it will be an improvement in the funding of R&D activities.
Involvement of the private sector
The R&D activities in Spain have been led by the public sector and with a little involvement from the private sector. The lack of innovation and entrepreneurship has emerged because of a low percentage of SMEs getting involved in cooperation, innovation, and the low participation of venture capitalists and the private sector. The government focused on more of the