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The Basque Country at the forefront in scientific research production and impact in the Spanish state

  • In 2016, scientific publications in the Basque Country accounted for 6.61% of the total in the State
  • Personnel involved in research and development activities in the Basque Country exceeded 12,000 researchers

The findings of the Science in the Basque Country 2017 report have recently been published. This report compiles the main data for the Basque Country with regard to researcher population, science funding, scientific findings and technology transfer through the indicators monitored by Ikerboost – Basque Observatory of Science and Technology. Thus, considering the last 10 years, it has been recorded that the number of documents published in the Basque Country rose from 2,100 in 2007 to 5,212 in 2016, which implies a 148% increase in just a decade. The relative weight of the Basque Country has been increasing steadily in the last ten years and accounted for 6.61% of the scientific production of the Spanish state in 2016.

The quality of the publications has increased considerably and this can be noted in two key aspects: the percentage of the scientific production published in prestigious journals has been increasing steadily in the last decade and rose from 42.6% to 51.62% in 2015. Likewise, researchers in the Basque Country collaborate with the main scientific leaders at the global level: the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, when publishing the results of the research. In these international collaborations, Basque researchers have a leading role and are often the main authors of the publications.

As for R&D expenditure as a percentage of the GDP by Autonomous Community, the Basque Country stood at the forefront in 2015 with 1.93% of the GDP, ahead of Madrid, Navarre and Catalonia.

Likewise, the Basque Country is the first Autonomous Community in raising competitive funding (EUR 303 million) in the framework programme H2020.

With regard to production by sectors, universities account for nearly 57% of the global scientific production of the Basque Country- fostered by the University of the Basque Country with a contribution of 2,741 indexed publications -, followed by the health sector and technology centres. 

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