Carmen Vela: “Only 16% of the holders of a doctorate work in the private sector in Spain”

  • June 9th, 2017
Carmen Vela, Rector.

The Secretary of State for Innovation, Development and Research, Carmen Vela, showed the map that defines Spanish science during a meal-colloquium organised by ADEIT. Despite the scenario is considered “efficient” in general terms, there are yet some lacks to overcome and stereotypes to break. The Secretary of State gave data that confirm this, such as the fact that only 16% of the holders of a doctorate work in the private sector in Spain, half of the average of OECD’s countries. With the aim of even the indexes with the European level, the State Research Agency is carrying out programmes that help companies to hire academic staff, like Torres Quevedo programme, explained Vela.

Carmen Vela emphasised the importance of the intersectoral movement of the research staff - from the academic world to the companies and vice versa - to achieve a solid research system.

Public-private research is financed from the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), “which is essential to transfer technology", according to Vela's words, who wanted to emphasise the importance of the intersectoral movement of the research staff - from the academic world to the companies and vice versa - to achieve a solid research system. Hiring young people and rotation of staff in the public ambit would help, in addition, “to get closer to the levels of our European neighbours and to avoid the stagnation, despite it is unavoidable sometimes, of the research careers of public employees”.  

Carmen Vela underlined, within the framework of her conference "Innovation as the axis of university-business cooperation”, the four pillars of the strategy that is being carried out by the government to increase Spain's position in Europe. The first one is the promotion of talent in R&D&i, consisting of providing training people with an environment where they can work. the second pillar is the generation of personal ideas powered by scientific and technical research of excellence; business leadership in R&D&i is, in the third place, a "key" to highlight the talent and capacity of the research staff; and, finally, based on its own original purpose, R&D&i aimed at solving the challenges of society, which are, in short, the global problems it faces.

Horizon 2020

The Secretary of State was positive about the future of Spanish science, within the great Europe 2020 programme, alluding to the contribution of 8% to European GDP and the return that is being received for the first time thanks to this contribution. In addition, she showed the State's intention to support project leadership as a coordinator of research and innovation actions, although - she acknowledged - “from the administrative procedure we put a lot of problems”.

The provisional assessment of the Spanish participation in Horizon 2020 reveals the potential of Spanish companies to compete with their European counterparts. Vela defended this saying that “we do not have so many companies and they are smaller, but we can compete with them”, even overtake Holland or Italy and get “dangerously” close to France.  

The Principal of the Universitat de València, Esteban Morcillo, closed the event and underlined the importance of innovation in this institution. “We have an undeniable human capital. As a State, we can be proud”, – he said, reclaiming a proper political scenario that favours the reform the university needs. On the other hand, the president of ADEIT University-Business Foundation, Alfonso Maldonado, thanked the Secretary of State for her visit, highlighting the importance of collaboration between companies and the universities, one of ADEIT's main lines of action.  

ADEIT’s Conferences

Carmen Vela's visit was part of the ADEIT’s Conferences programme, a cycle of free lectures and debates on hot topics of interest for the business sector and the university community. Cristina Garmendia, president of COTEC, is among the speakers of previous sessions. Likewise, the writer Santiago Posteguillo and José Manuel González-Páramo, Executive Director of BBVA, will be the ones to disseminate their knowledge in the next sessions of ADEIT’s Conferences.

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