Joaquim Gironella, full academician and member of the Governing Board of the Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 (RAED), published on November 27 in the Spanish newspaper “La Vanguardia” the article “Investigación y realidad económica” (Research and economic reality), in which contrasts the quantity and quality of the research carried out in Spain with the scarce resources, public and private, that are dedicated to it. Especially from a crisis that today is considered outdated.
“For the ‘Scientific American’ magazine, in September 2018, Spain would be the world’s 10th power in science -says Gironella-. The study is based on the number of scientific papers published in the best impact journals, the amount of patents registered by each country, their total R&D expenditure and the number of doctors that are generated each year, but in the RAED we have quantified the decrease between 2008 and 2016 of the investment in Spain with the stark reality of the numbers for the investigation, which went from 6,000 to 2,000 million euros”.
Continuing with the numbers, Gironella wields how according to the official data, analysing the countries by spending on research and development in relation to their gross domestic product, Spain devoted to this subject in 2014 1.2% of its GDP, being located in the position number 15 of the world ranking, behind countries such as Japan (3.5%), South Korea (which with 4.2% stands out as number 1), the United States (2.7%), or the United Kingdom (1.7%). The average of the European Union that year was 2%. “As each tenth of GDP represents hundreds of millions of euros, the differences in investment between the different scientific communities are also really significant”, the academician says.
“The numbers are clear and show the real interest of some countries in science and, most importantly, how to convert it into wealth, although in Spain the experimental and academic production is of very high quality it’s not possible to compete in equal terms with this structured economic-scientific reality of some countries able to enjoy inventing and enjoying the return of the investment made”, he concludes.