R&D and TI

There are numerous financial (non-refundable subsidies, soft loans or a combination of both) and tax incentives for activities pursued in certain industries deemed to be a priority due to their potential for growth and their impact on the Spanish economy as a whole. The Autonomous Communities grant similar incentives in most of these industries.

There are numerous financial (non-refundable subsidies, soft loans or a combination of both) and tax incentives for activities pursued in certain industries deemed to be a priority due to their potential for growth and their impact on the Spanish economy as a whole. The Autonomous Communities grant similar incentives in most of these industries.

These incentives include most notably those aimed at fostering innovation, technological improvement and research and development projects, which have been one of the main priorities of the Spanish authorities in recent years.

Currently Science, Technology and Innovation Law 14/2011, of June 1, 2011, establishes the legal framework for the fostering of scientific and technical research, experimental development and innovation in Spain, founded on a scheme based on the approval of the related Spanish Strategies for Science, Technology and for Innovation, which serve as multi-year reference documents for reaching the statutory objectives and as a basis for the preparation of a State Plan through which to instrument in detail the initiatives required to perform such objectives. 

In line with the foregoing, at the beginning of February 2013 the Council of Ministers approved, in a combined document, “the Spanish Strategy for Science and Technology and for Innovation” for the 2013-2020 period, whose essential purpose is to promote the scientific, technological and business leadership of the country as a whole and to increase the innovation capacities of the Spanish company and the Spanish economy, defining in this connection the following general objectives: (i) recognizing and promoting R&D and TI talent and its employability; (ii) fostering excellence in scientific and technical research; (iii) boosting business leadership in R&D and TI; and (iv) fostering R&D and TI activities aimed at meeting the global challenges currently facing Spanish society.

Simultaneous to the approval of the above Strategy, the Council of Ministers approved the 2013-2016 State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and for Innovation, which, in line with the objectives and priorities defined in the Spanish Strategy for Science and Technology and for Innovation, defines the instruments to be used to finance R&D and TI activities on the part of the national government, all having regard to the following objectives:

•  Promoting the training and employment of human resources in R&D and TI activities in both the public and the private sectors.

•  Increasing the quality of scientific and technical research so that it attains its maximum level of excellence and impact.

  Strengthening the international leadership and capacities of scientific and technical research units, centers and institutions.

  Facilitating access to scientific and technological infrastructures and to scientific equipment.

  Boosting business leadership in R&D and TI by incorporating SMEs into the innovation process.

•  Favoring the creation and growth of technology-based enterprises.

  Increasing cooperation between the public sector and the business sector in connection with R&D and TI.

  Stimulating R&D and TI aimed at meeting society’s challenges.

•  Promoting the internationalization of the R&D and TI activities of the agents of the Spanish System for Science, Technology and Innovation.

  Expanding scientific, technological and innovative culture, as well as the dissemination of the results of scientific and technical research and innovation projects.

•  Going more deeply into R&D and TI policies based on demand.

The initiatives of the national government set forth in the Plan are organized into a scheme instrumented as:

- 4 State Programs (promotion of talent and its employability; fostering of excellence in scientific and technical research; business leadership in R&D and TI; R&D and TI aimed at the challenges of society).

- 18 State Subprograms (training; incorporation; mobility; creation of knowledge; development of emerging technologies; institutional strengthening; scientific and technical infrastructures and equipment; business R&D and TI; essential facilitating technologies; cooperative R&D and TI targeted at the demands of the productive fabric; health, demographic change and welfare; food safety and quality; productive and sustainable agricultural activities, sustainability of natural resources, marine and maritime research; safe, efficient and clean energy; intelligent, sustainable and integrated transportation; action on climatic change and efficient use of resources and raw materials; social changes and innovations; digital economy and society; and security, protection and defense).

- 2 Strategic Actions (for health and for economy and digital society).

Notwithstanding the provisions of each call for applications for the respective programs and subprograms, in general, the aid included in the State Plan has the following characteristics:

Beneficiaries: individuals; public research agencies; public and private universities; other public R&D centers; public and private health entities and institutions related to or assisted by the National Health System; certified health research institutes; public and private non-profit entities (foundations and associations) engaging in R&D activities; enterprises (including SMEs); state technological centers; state technological and innovation support centers; business groupings or associations (joint ventures, economic interest groupings, industry-wide business associations); innovative business groupings and technological platforms; organizations supporting technological transfer and technological and scientific dissemination and disclosure.

• Types of aid: subsidies; loans; venture capital instruments; other instruments (tax guarantees and incentives).

• Forms of participation:

(i)  R&D and TI programs and projects used to foster the creation of knowledge, its application and innovation in all its dimensions.

(ii) Contracting and aid targeted at R&D and TI human resources for the training and incorporation of doctors, researches, technologists, technicians and managers.

(iii) Scientific and technical infrastructures and the acquisition of equipment required for the pursuit of R&D and TI activities.

(iv) Supplementary actions associated with R&D and TI projects and programs.

(v) Revitalization actions for the execution of strategic and priority actions.

(vi) Joint programming initiatives carried out as transnational cooperation with a view to facing major scientific challenges. 


A noteworthy new development is the Strategic Action on Digital Economy and Society, which comprises a set of measures aimed at the progressive adoption of digital technologies and the development of the Information Society with a view to the transformation of the economy and society towards a digital environment. Included within this strategic action are the measures set out in the Digital Agenda for Spain approved in 2013 and structured into six headings:

1.-Boosting the roll-out of networks and services to guarantee digital connectivity.

2.-Developing the digital economy for the growth, competitiveness and internationalization of Spanish enterprises.

3.-Improving e-Government and adopting digital solutions for the efficient provision of public services.

4.-Strengthening trust in the digital sphere.

5.-Promoting the R&D&I system in information and communication technology (ICT).

6.- Encouraging the inclusion and digital literacy and training of new ICT professionals.

The action is set to be implemented through various instruments such as competitive calls for applications for domestic and international aid, agreements with third parties, loans, venture capital, innovative public procurement, awareness initiatives, direct implementation programs and other European financing instruments.


Please also note the work of the Center for Industrial Technological Development (Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial or CDTI) in relation to the promotion of the technological innovation and development of enterprises through the granting of preferred loans in its various financing lines and providing technical advice and support to enterprises planning to submit projects under cooperative R&D and TI Programs. Notwithstanding the more detailed presentation found on the CDTI website (, the lines available to the CDTI for the financing of R&D and TI projects include most notably the following:

Research and development projects, for the creation and significant improvement of a product or service, including both industrial research activities and experimental development.

Direct Innovation Line, a financing instrument aimed at enterprises which carry out technological innovation projects.

Global Innovation Line, for the financing of projects investing in innovation and the incorporation of innovative technology for the growth and internationalization of companies that pursue their activities in Spain.

Technological fund, a special item under the ERDF funds of the European Union dedicated to the promotion of business R&D and TI in Spain, distributed on a priority basis to enterprises carrying out projects in regions with a lower per capita GNP. 

INNPRONTA Program, to finance major integrated industrial research projects with a strategic nature and a large size, which permit the development of new technologies in technological areas of the future.

INNODEMANDA Program, a financing instrument to support the technological offer submitted in innovative public procurement processes.

NEOTEC Initiative, to support the creation and consolidation of new technology-based companies (TBCs) in Spain.

INNVIERTE Program, aimed at business innovation by supporting venture capital investments in technology-based companies.

Lastly, at international level, the CDTI offers support to Spanish enterprises and promotes technological cooperation through various programs aimed at financing projects and initiatives, such as the INNTERNACIONALIZA Initiative or the INNVOLUCRA, EUROSTARS and ERA-NET Programs


Prepared by:

Last updated: 22|06|2015

Contact us
91 503 58 08

Búsqueda de ayudas e incentivos

The best information by region, by sector and daily updated. No registration needed!

Search now

Paseo de la Castellana 278, 2nd Floor 28046 Madrid SPAIN
T (+34) 91 503 5800

Home | Legal warning | Privacy policy | Cookies policy | Site Map | Accessibility

INVEST IN SPAIN - Paseo de la Castellana, 278 - 28046 Madrid

Level Double-A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

2015 ICEX - Invest in Spain