Spanish science: who said easy? Aitor Veiga Monasterioguren, Alma Consulting Group

aitor-veiga.alma-consulting-group-investigacion-desarrollo-innovacion.jpg-GROUPWhile estimates for 2016 show a timid increase in spending on research, development and innovation (R + D + i), considering the Government that these budgets have reached a reasonable level of public funding of R + D + i, what truth is that the change in policy expenditure in the period between 2007 and 2016 in our country is negative at -28.4% (Source: CIVIO). The allocation in the State Budget for R + D + i includes civil claims amounting to 5793.31 million, getting a boost of 2.2%, 13% and lower the budget for military research, to 631 millions of euros.

The overall level of R & D + i is the highest since the Popular Party came to power in 2011, but the planned spending for civilian research grants is still well below the levels of 10 years ago, as shown icon, the system of indicators of Spanish Science, Technology and Innovation of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.

To this is added the more than possible deviation from the deficit targets that will occur in the final settlement of the 2015 budget deviation that may endanger the budgets provided by the government for 2016 to a successful end port. The deficit reduction until the end of 2016, involves an adjustment of at least 23,000 million euros for all public administrations. The government estimates that tax revenues will grow 6.2% in 2016, but the government itself has announced that 2015 revenues would grow at a rate of 5.4% is anticipated, while in the elapsed time this year the growth being 4.2%. He also estimated that in 2015 social security contributions would grow to 6.7%, and 1% are doing.

Reflection is the following: although traslademos full force of our positive thinking budgets on R & D for 2016, is sufficient investment for changing the production model that Spain needs? The total budget for civil R & D + i, the government will devote EUR 2.511 million to non-financial budget, grants which depends most research projects. This represents an increase of 12% over 2015. The remaining 56%, 3281.52 million, corresponds to loans that have a low rate of concession, which presumably much of the budget will not come from the coffers of the state. The reasons for this happening are diverse, but in 2013, for example, the Government spent 43% of all budgets allocated to R + D + i, according to the Confederation of Scientific Societies of Spain (COSCE).

36.5% of the budget for civil R & D + i, corresponds to the program of research and technological-industrial development, with a budget of 2114.65 million. It is a wise move, since within this program to support research and development of the Science-Technology-Enterprise System (CTE), which aims to increase the technological level of Spanish companies and strengthen innovation of the productive network is included. The allocation for 2016 is 1298.32 million.

Add the departure of Promotion and coordination of scientific and technical research for projects and research contracts for new researchers. With a proposed budget of 1,612 million euros, it´s reaching an increase of 11% over 2015. 2016 also will receive more budget dependent Public Bodies Research, Ministry of Economy: 1.155 million euros, 31 million more than last year. By contrast, the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) suffered a decline of 180 million euros, leaving a total funding of 1.792 million euros.

The investment has been made in recent years in R + D + i has enabled public resources closer the R + D + i to the EU average, but the private sector continues to show higher deficits compared to the countries around us environment. It is still not easy to get the resources are there in the Spanish Science contribute most efficient way to economic recovery. With the investment which provides the PGE 2016, the gap remains wide, and are innovative SMEs which are making a great effort in R + D + i, both through Deductions / Cash Back Bonuses and research staff, as direct funding (national and European aid: SME instrument).

While tax deductions for R + D + i have not been as effective in practice by limiting the application, a good alternative are the bonuses to Social Security Research Staff. Royal Decree 475/2014 on bonuses in social security contributions for research personnel recover the incentive whereby entities whose employees exclusively dedicated to research and development and technological innovation (R + D + i), may get a bonus of 40% in business contributions to Social Security contributions for common contingencies, maintaining compatibility with other aid.

Aitor Veiga Monasterioguren, Consulting Innovation director by of Alma Consulting Group.

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