What is R&D? R&D stands for research and development (known is Spain as I+D). This concept encompasses all the activities which objective is to discover and/or create new knowledge and understanding about science and technology in order to develop new products or services. An example of R&D is the research of new vaccines and medicines. R&D can be found in different areas as construction, engineering, industry…, but especially science. These activities are carried out by governments, for ensuring the development of their countries, or business, for their own development. R&D is a very important part of this development because it brings financial stability with investigation and the sale and exportation technology, products and ideas.
One of the main pillars for the development of this sector is the funding it receives from the government. They finance for carrying out the researching experiments. During the last years R&D has undergo a great progress due to the advance on biotechnology. One of the main issues R&D has gone through in the last years is the financial depression, and all the cutbacks that came with it.
Spanish R&D is one of the most crippled ones in Europe. Since 2009, the state has cut science budget by a 39%. This is equivalent to 3736 million euros, lowering the 2013 funding to 5926, 24 million euros. The huge cutback makes Spanish science decline to levels prior to 2005.
The cutbacks are so serious that it reached a point in which the Science Ministry was eliminated in 2011, and R&D started to depend on the Economy Ministry. It has already been said that there are no plans for funding increases in 2014. It is estimated that during this years, one third of last year’s project won’t receive renewed grants.
To make things worse there is constant brain drain from the best and most prepared students, who are denied of the opportunity of working due to the funding decreases and the freezes on public hiring. This means that law establishes a maximum number of recruitments per year, 5 in 2013. The expected backlash from Spanish scientist didn’t take long time to come, and the National Council of Scientific Research (CSIC) has already organized several demonstrations and petition drives supporting Spanish science.
Benefits and limitations:
The only possible benefit I could think about cutbacks in science and developments is that R&D investments bring long term benefits (which I’ll explain later) and the profit is not immediate, as it takes several years to develop. On the other hand, other industries (as construction) give a fast “buy and sale” profit. This means that there are short term benefits. They just manufacture a product or give a service without the need of developing it, which they automatically sell, receiving their instant profit. In a recession period people like to obtain these fast economic benefits.
Although there is maybe a benefit to these cutbacks, I’m not in favour of them and...