Science and innovation underpin the economies of both Spain and the UK. Encouraging work between the two countries therefore produces benefits for both.
The UK has a world class science base, a strong and open system of innovation and a business R&D environment that is among the best in the world. International collaboration in science and innovation is vital for meeting policy challenges on a global scale.
For this reason the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office jointly fund the international Science and Innovation Network (SIN). SIN officers work with the local science and innovation communities in 28 countries around the world in support of UK policy overseas. They create important relationships to best use the value of science and innovation discoveries and investments overseas. This leads to mutual benefits to the UK and the host-country.
The strong science base and industrial R&D activities taking place in Spain, makes it a key partner for the UK on science and innovation. The Science & Innovation team in Spain works to identify opportunities to foster an active scientific bilateral relationship, delivering maximum benefits for British interests, in line with UK and in support of the wider HMG growth & prosperity agenda.
For an introductory brief which covers the local Science and Innovation landscape, UK priorities and successes in Spain, read the UK Science and Innovation Network Country Snapshot.
- Influence Spain’s science and innovation policies of government, industry and academia to benefit the UK
- improve UK policy based on international experience and emerging opportunities and issues
- encourage high level science co-operation with Spain to benefit the UK and achieve wider policy objectives
- Identify emerging challenges and opportunities in Spain – horizon scan and respond flexibly on emerging issues
- make best use of international technology co-operation and investment to grow UK innovation potential
A concerted SIN/UKTI effort at BioSpain 2014 conference helped promote UK biotech leadership by bringing the Cell Therapy Catapult centre and facilitating their engagement with the Spanish community. The activity was a great platform to showcase the innovative UK biotech environment and promote the Catapult’s programme. Concrete outcomes included H2020 joint proposals and a number of new investment projects.
Building on Spain’s strength on renewables, the S&I team organised a two-day programme in northern Spain for the UK Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, which showcased UK’s leading position in offshore renewables and paved the way for stronger partnerships with Spanish technology centres and the offshore wind, wave and tidal energy industry .The focus was on presenting OREC´s business model, and exploring opportunities for collaboration with industry, academia and the Spanish authorities as a route to a more efficient development of offshore renewable technologies.
A Nuclear Fusion international event held in Madrid and led by the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy led to the submission a joint 1M€ UK/Spain Euratom proposal, the creation of an international network and to a number of new research collaborations on nuclear fusion.
Following a SIN Spain event, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the Spanish National Oncology Research Centre (CNIO) signed a confidential disclosure agreement to exchange information about current drug discovery projects, approaches and technologies, allowing for the study and evaluation of common areas of interest.
To date, SIN Spain’s work has focussed on the UK´s science priorities, such as delivering the PM’s Dementia Challenge in Spain. This has underpinned some excellent joined up work with UKTI which has led to tangible commercial outcomes, helped influence policy-making, sparked consular network dementia activity, and encouraged new research collaborations. The UK/Spain Dementia Policies event led to a Spanish company investing on the MRC Dementias Platform UK. The event was successfully replicated in Lisbon, in collaboration with UKTI. It constituted a great opportunity to share best practice with the Portuguese government on Dementia policy and has brought some potential commercial agreements.
As part a strong communications strategy, the SIN team created the Network of British Scientists in Spain, a very useful platform to bring together researchers, companies, journalists and policy makers from both countries, generate debate and open up opportunities for joint collaboration.
Science and Innovation Attaché Spain
UK Science & Innovation Network Spain
British Embassy Madrid
Torre Espacio, Paseo de la Castellana 259D, 28046 Madrid, Spain
TEL: 00 34 91 714 6357