The group of experts of the European Commission has delivered to the Minister of Economy and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos, the conclusions of the report that analyzes the situation of the Spanish R + D + I. The main recommendation made by the so-called European Research Area Committee (ERAC) peer review en “Increase available resources, although this increase must be associated with structural reforms”. These improvements include the definition of a new research career through a “radical” change, face an institutional reform, carry out an “effective” follow-up and an evaluation by objectives that contemplate the quality and impact of the actions, achieve greater level of coordination between the different actors in the system, increase the number of companies that invest in R & D & I, launch the Research Agency and increase the synergies of support of the private sector and the creation of companies.

The report, made at the initiative of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, recognizes the levels of excellence achieved in research, although it points out that the average is low. In the business field, it indicates the small number of large companies and SMEs with R + D + I capabilities. Regarding the coordination mechanisms of a regional nature, he explains that they are insufficient, giving rise to duplicities and divided governance, especially in the case of universities.

Among the ten recommendations of the summary of the report delivered today to the minister – the final one will be announced soon – the panel of experts proposes greater strategic planning that has a broad political consensus and that public resources reach 0.7% of the GDP in the next three years (currently 0.61%) to boost business spending on R&D. With regard to human resources, it warns of the need to change the structure and management of the research career so that mobility is promoted, talent and merit are promoted and alternatives to the civil service model are sought.

Experts suggest to public research organizations (IPOs) and universities that they undergo an evaluation system that ensures that public resources are allocated to the best centers, projects and researchers, as well as recommending administrations to provide these institutions for greater autonomy and to address a reform of the IPOs.

Regarding innovation, the report considers that public-private innovation-oriented collaboration should be strengthened and initiatives in strategic and competitive areas led by companies should be established. In addition, it highlights the need to increase the number of small and, above all, medium-sized companies that invest in R + D + I through new measures. Finally, it invites to erect an innovative culture and to encourage regional synergies in support of the private sector and the creation of companies.

The so-called peer review It also recommends the creation of an Agency for Research that implements part of the proposed reforms and suggests that an evaluation and effective monitoring of R & D & I policies and results be carried out.

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