- Funding the cooperation
- Political framework
- Priorities of the cooperation
- Highlights of the bilateral cooperation
The cooperation between Germany and Spain takes place in the context of the European Research Area (ERA) largely in direct exchange between the different research institutions or the individual researchers. There are usually no national support measures to initiate cooperation.
As a result of the government reshuffle in June 2018, responsibilities for education and research have been redefined. The departments of science, innovation and universities are now bundled in the newly created Ministry of Science (Ministro de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades).
In January 2013, the Spanish Council of Ministers adopted a new strategy for science, technology and innovation. This strategy outlines four main objectives for the next seven years (2013-2020):
- Recognition and promotion of talent and employment,
- Promotion of excellence
- Support of business management and
- Research oriented to societal challenges.
Spain wants to strengthen its industry in strategic areas through improved cooperation between private and public actors. Main topics to be addressed are health, food science, aviation research and tourism.
The National Research and Development Plan, which originally only covered the period up to 2016, has been extended until 2020 and regulates the individual steps of government administration and services, as well as setting the course for scientific, technical and social priorities and the distribution of funds.
Germany and Spain are increasingly working together on solar research, biotechnology (especially plant genome research), health research and technology (especially in terms of demographic change), and information and communication technologies (ICT).
There is a long-term research cooperation with Spain in the fields of solar research and astronomy. Since 1980, the Plataforma Solar de Almería, a test centre in the field of solar technology, has been operated jointly by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Centro de Investigaciones Energetícas, Medoambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT).
Other focal topics of German-Spanish cooperation in recent years have been research infrastructures (XFEL, ESFRI projects: Solaris, ESFRI project: LifeWatch), European research policy (JPI, Innovation Union, COST) and ITER.
The German-Spanish Forums, which have been held since 2002, play an important role in the further development of bilateral cooperation. The German-Spanish Forum povides high-ranking German and Spanish decision-makers from politics, business, culture, science, media and society with the opportunity to exchange views. Organisers of the forum are the Fundación ICO from Madrid and the Center for Applied Policy Research (CAP) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. The latest forum took place in Berlin on 17-18 November 2015.