Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 28

(industry) of knowledge, as well as on
knowledge circulation. The links were fostered
mainly by supporting partnerships between
research centres and industry, on the one hand,
and through the creation of intermediary
organisations, such as knowledge transfer
offices, interface institutions with in-house R&D,
and technology parks, on the other. The
panorama today is of established, functional
networks between producers, users and
intermediaries of knowledge. These networks
span the country, suggesting that the main
actors are in place to underpin innovation
in Portugal.
Nevertheless, three factors illustrate how much
work is still to be done. First, the number of
patents filed in Europe by researchers in
Portugal is extremely low in comparison with
the European average. Second, Portugal has
one of the lowest rates of uptake of PhD holders
by industry – only 2.9% compared to 15% in
neighbouring Spain and 35% in Denmark.
Finally, the profile of the Portuguese economy
reveals clear specialisation in activities of low
or medium-low technological intensity.
Portuguese businesses are more active in
researchers since 2000, reaching 11 full-time equivalents per 1,000
people in the workforce in 2012, above the EU and Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development averages. The number of
doctorate degrees awarded annually by Portuguese universities almost
tripled between 2000 and 2012. Furthermore, the number of publications
(indexed in the Web of Science) per million inhabitants rose 3.6-fold,
from 315 in 2000 to 1,131 in 2012.
Narrowing the output gap
However, despite this astonishing growth, there is a clear gap between
quantitative and qualitative outputs when it comes to the impact of
publications and securing highly competitive research funding (such as
that of the European Research Council).
To narrow this gap was a strategic goal during my time as president
of the FCT, the main funding agency for science and research in
Portugal. Since 2012, the FCT has undertaken concerted efforts to
boost the international competitiveness and scientific, economic and
social impact of R&D produced in Portugal. Or, put differently, to foster
excellence in Portugal’s science base across all areas, from human
capital to research infrastructures.
Innovation mountain
When it comes to innovation, the challenges facing us are enormous.
However, much has also been done since 2000, when government
policies explicitly adopted a concept of a national innovation system.
Within this framework, state support has centred on the creation and
reinforcement of links between producers (researchers) and users
I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
28
E X C E L L E N T S C I E N C E
Whilst Portugal has
seen substantial
growth in research
and innovation, this
has yet to translate
into concrete outputs
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