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.


Multi-level governance of Basque Country STI policy

This chapter first highlights the special position of the Basque Country within Spain with respect to its fiscal regime and STI competences. It then analyses the policy influence and level of resource flows from higher levels of government, notably Spain and the European Union. It reviews the horizontal governance arrangements within the Basque Country government among the different public and private stakeholders that are (or should be) responsible for setting the STI strategy and policy agenda as well as implementing a whole-of-government approach to innovation. The role of sub-regional entities, including the three provinces and local development agencies, is discussed as they are active in some instruments related to STI policy. Finally, the importance of filling gaps in monitoring and evaluation is raised.


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