National Statistics Institute

Press section

Press Section / R&D

R&D expenditure 2017* 2016 2015
Volume (million €) 14,052 13,260 13,172
Annual rate (%) 6.0 0.7 2.7
Percentage over GDP (%) 1.20 1.19 1.22

(*) Provisional data


R&D statistics include all companies, public bodies, private non-profit universities or institutions that undertake R&D activities, whether this is on a continual or occasional basis.

The sample size of the R&D Statistics is 51,622 units, of which, 50,153 are companies, 900 are public administration centres (including public hospitals), 77 are universities, 145 are centres of higher education, and 347 are private non-profit institutions.

What is R&D?

Research and development (R&D) includes the body of creative work undertaken systematically with the objective of increasing the volume of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society and the use of this knowledge to create new applications.

The main aggregates for quantifying the national effort invested in R&D activities are domestic expenditure on R&D (which includes current expenditure and the capital corresponding to activities undertaken within the state) and personnel working on R&D activities (which includes the ensemble of persons that have worked on a full time equivalent).

Effect of rebasing the GDP

The rebasing of the Spanish national accounts (from base 1995 to base 2000) has had an effect on the national R&D data. The data contained in the last press release refer to the 2000 base GDP and the interannual variations have been developed with totally comparable data.

However, the data published prior to this referred to the 1995 base GDP and are not therefore comparable with the latest data to be published.