On May 13, the new National Agreement for a Knowledge-based Society was presented at the appearance of the President of the Catalan Government and the Minister for Business and Knowledge.
This pact proposes the public policies that would have to be carried out so that Catalonia to becomes a leader in research and innovation at the international level.
Josep Samitier Director of the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) was among the group of experts from the academic, entrepreneurial, social and cultural fields that are part of the Plenary and the Permanent Table, who presented the document prepared after a year of study. Samitier, also as representative of the Catalan Association of Research Entities (ACER for its Catalan acronym) and, in this case also, of the Catalan Research Centres (CERCA for its Catalan acronym), he made an intervention to highlight the importance of this agreement. Professor Samitier stressed that research centres have contributed to bringing international researchers to Catalonia, to retaining local talent, as well as to attracting investments worth millions of euros in research and innovation projects.
“We consider the National Agreement for a Knowledge-based Society as a fundamental tool to continue the path we have undertaken that must enable science to become an engine to transform, and improve, the welfare state and economic progress.”
Among the proposals planned by the agreement it includes the objective of increasing investment and financing, both public and private. Currently, investment in “own knowledge” in Catalonia is around 1.5% of GDP, and 59% is private. The agreement points out that, in a first phase, with the horizon in 2024, the expenditure would have to be increased to 2.12% of Catalan GDP to match the European average. This would have to imply an increase in public spending to go from the current 0.58% to 0.75% and an increase in private spending from 0.94% to 1.37%.
The National Agreement for a Knowledge-based Society has been promoted by the Department of Business and Knowledge and, in addition to its own working groups, it has integrated the proposals of a consultative council with 38 personalities from the academic, scientific, corporate, social and cultural fields, as well as of citizenship.