OECD Reviews of Regional Innovation: Basque Country, Spain 2011

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The Basque Country region in Spain is world renowned for a successful industrial transformation, the urban regeneration of Bilbao, cultural distinctiveness, unique governance arrangements and high wealth levels. Over the last 30 years, the region has implemented its science, technology and innovation (STI) policy driven by a need to boost industrial competitiveness. The role of total factor productivity and innovation in driving growth was significant in the 1990s and declined in the early part of this decade, but appears to be on the rise again thanks in part to significant increases in public and private investment in innovation.  The Basque Country has begun a transition from a model of incremental innovation in manufacturing to a model increasingly based on science and other forms of knowledge. Through a diagnostic of the innovation system and the policy mix, the review offers some policy and governance recommendations to achieve the region’s desired transition in light of global trends in the innovation process and innovation policy.


Basque Country STI policy

Over the last 30 years, the Basque Country has implemented an STI policy driven by a need to boost industrial competitiveness adapted to the region’s industrial footprint. This chapter first reviews the evolution of STI policy in order to understand the region’s position today in terms of policy mix and system actors. It then analyses the region’s current STI policies and programmes to assess the relevance of different measures for current and future innovation challenges. Finally, it reviews aspects of the policy mix that merit further adjustment in future STI plans, including emerging areas in innovation policy.


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