The Statistics on R&D activities in the Business sector arose for the purpose of measuring the economic and human resources (inputs) earmarked for these activities, to meet a dual objective:
- To provide a tool for the management, planning, decision and control, with regard to national scientific policy.
- To provide statistical institutions with the information that they request, obtained in accordance with international regulations which facilitate comparability between various countries.
The methodology follows the recommendations set out by the OECD in the Frascati Manual https://www.oecd.org/sti/inno/frascati-manual.htm, which is one of the pillars for better understanding the role of science and technology. Moreover, it provides internationally-accepted R&D definitions and classifications.
The statistics use the National Classification of Economic Activities, CNAE-2009, to encode the activity of the companies, process and disseminated their data.
Further information on the statistics methodology may be obtained at: http://ine.es/dyngs/INEbase/es/operacion.htm?c=Estadistica_C&cid=1254736176754&menu=metodologia&idp=1254735576669
The target population of study is the group of companies, located in the country, from all of the activity branches, with the exception of CNAE 84 and CNAE 854 ("Public Administration and Defence; Compulsory Social Security" and "Post-secondary Education", respectively).
The statistical unit is the company.
These Statistics study those companies that carry out research and experimental development activities, in any scientific field, and which are located within the national territory.
This includes all of Spain.
The survey is carried out annually.
There are results available as of reference year 1964.
The Statistics on R&D Activities in the Business sector has results, according to National Classification of Economic Activities 2009 (CNAE-2009), as of reference year 2008. The year 2008 is the base period.
Economic data are provided in thousand euros.
R&D personnel data are provided in headcount and in full-time equivalence.
The main reference period of these statistics is the year immediately prior to the year that the data is collected. For the expenditure feature, the reference period will be the calendar year. With regard to personnel, in order to determine the number of persons who work in R&D, the statistics use both the annual average and the full-time equivalence of the personnel who carry out R&D activities (persons/year).
Data referred to the period: Anual A: 2018
The compilation and dissemination of the data are governed by the Statistical Law No. 12/1989 "Public Statistical Function" of May 9, 1989, and Law No. 4/1990 of June 29 on “National Budget of State for the year 1990" amended by Law No. 13/1996 "Fiscal, administrative and social measures" of December 30, 1996, makes compulsory all statistics included in the National Statistics Plan. The National Statistical Plan 2009-2012 was approved by the Royal Decree 1663/2008. It contains the statistics that must be developed in the four year period by the State General Administration's services or any other entity dependent on it. All statistics included in the National Statistics Plan are statistics for state purposes and are obligatory. The National Statistics Plan 2017-2020, approved by Royal Decree 410/2016, of 31 October, is the Plan currently implemented. This statistical operation has governmental purposes, and it is included in the National Statistics Plan 2017-2020. (Statistics of the State Administration).
"European Parliament and Council Decision no. 1608/2003/EC, of 22 July 2003, relating to the production and development of community statistics on science and technology" https://www.ine.es/normativa/leyes/UE/minine.htm#30057
They are carried out in collaboration with the Autonomous Communities.
The questionnaire sent to the collaborating units notifies that "The personal information obtained by the statistical services, both directly from the respondents and from administrative sources, will be subject to protection and are covered by statistical secrecy (Article 13.1 of the Law on Public Statistical Services of May 9 1989, (LFEP)). All statistical personnel has the obligation of preserving statistical secrecy (Article 17.1 of the LFEP)”.
The statistics are disseminated annually.
The results of the statistics are disseminated via the INE website, and some results are included in publications, such as the Statistical Yearbook, INE Figures, etc.
INEbase is the system the INE uses to store statistical information on the Internet. It contains all the information the INE produces in electronic formats. The primary organisation of the information follows the theme-based classification of the Inventory of Statistical Operations of the State General Administration . The basic unit of INEbase is the statistical operation, defined as the set of activities that lead to obtaining statistical results on a determined sector or subject based on the individually collected data. Also included in the scope of this definition are synthesis preparation.
Tables and time series may be viewed in INEbase, within the "Science and technology" section at www.ine.es
That research that wishes to gain access to the microdata must sign an agreement with the National Statistics Institute for access, for statistical purposes, by research personnel, to confidential INE data. The agreement describes the project and the need to access said microdata, specifies the period during which the research team will work in the INE, provides the name of the research team and establishes the agreement clauses, including the statistical confidentiality clause.
This access shall be made through the so-called Secure Place, which consists of computers where said databases are available, and which verify a series of physical and technological provisions to protect the security and integrity of the statistical databases, which in practice implies that strict protocols are applied to those external users who wish to access the microdata for research purposes. The Secure Place is available, not only at the Central Services of the INE, but also in the Provincial Delegations.
There is the possibility of requesting customised information from the INE User Care Department. At the time of processing said requests, limitations regarding confidentiality or precision are borne in mind.
A detailed description is available at:
Based on Regulation no. 995/2012, the European Commission (Eurostat) assessing the quality of the data transmitted, and publishes reports regarding the quality of European statistics. To this end, within the 20 months following the end of the year, each country provides a quality report.
Fields 10.6 to 17.2 from this document are the quality report targeting users for this operation.
Quality assurance framework for the INE statistics is based on the ESSCoP, the European Statistics Code of Practice made by EUROSTAT. The ESSCoP is made up of 16 principles, gathered in three areas: Institutional Environment, Processes and Products. Each principle is associated with some indicators which make possible to measure it. In order to evaluate quality, EUROSTAT provides different tools: the indicators mentioned above, Self-assessment based on the DESAP model, peer review, user satisfaction surveys and other proceedings for evaluation.
In order to guarantee quality information, the information received is processed, following the steps listed below:
- Control and manual filtering of the questionnaires by the units involved in the information collection, with the objective of recovering the possible lack of data or correcting errors in the questionnaires before they are recorded.
- Interactive recording with filtering and correction of the errors in the information obtained by the units involved in the information collection.
- Control of the information received by the unit responsible for the statistics.
- Control of the scope and processing of identification errors.
- Validation of the quality of the information.
- Imputation of the partial non-response.
- Filtering and interactive correction of inconsistencies in the validated information.
- Preparation of a first phase of results analysis tables.
- Macro-publishing of the main aggregates to correct the errors not detected in the previous micro-filtering phase.
- Data analysis.
- Creation of the final data file.
- Obtaining final results tables in the unit responsible for the statistics, compiled from the final data file.
The following may be cited as being among the main strengths of this survey:
1) Rapid collection, analysis and publication of the results of the latter are carried out within the 11 months following the end of the reference period.
2) As these statistics have been compiled since the year 1964, a comprehensive monitoring of the data can be performed, in such a way that possible inconsistencies therein can be detected, as well as obtaining a time series that is consistent over time.
3) In recent years, an effort has been made to collect the information via the Internet, thus enabling its completion.
4) Obtaining high response rates.
Survey users include the following:
· Ministries and other public bodies.
· Territorial administrations (Autonomous Communities, municipal councils, etc.).
· Companies and non-profit institutions.
· Researchers and universities.
Each of the users has different needs, according to the destination and use of the information they require.
Among user uses, worth noting is the "Annual Report: Technology and Innovation in Spain", published by COTEC, using the data provided by the INE. On an international level, each year, the OECD prepares the Main Science and Technology Indicators publication, which includes information regarding R&D on an international level, and Eurostat periodically publishes information on a European level.
The INE has carried out general user satisfaction surveys in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 and it plans to continue doing so every three years. The purpose of these surveys is to find out what users think about the quality of the information of the INE statistics and the extent to which their needs of information are covered. In addition, additional surveys are carried out in order to acknowledge better other fields such as dissemination of the information, quality of some publications...
On the INE website, in its section Methods and Projects / Quality and Code of Practice / INE quality management / User surveys are available surveys conducted to date.(Click next link)
The Statistics on R&D activities meets all the requirements established in the national and international regulations related to science and technology statistics.
Said statistics are governed by Commission Regulation no. 995/2012, of 26 October 2012. Therefore, the rate of statistical information supplied is R=100%.
The statistics are designed to attain a high degree of reliability and accuracy of the data obtained.
The different processes to which the statistics are subjected, from the design thereof, until the final results (scope, collection, error filtering, imputation of non-response, etc.) are obtained, are oriented to obtaining the highest degree of statistical reliability.
Statistics on R&D Activities are a census operation, so there are no sampling errors.
A control of non-sampling errors is carried out throughout the statistical process. Two types of errors are examined:
Errors of congruence (very high variations with respect to last year, lack of mandatory data, incorrect sums, ...)
Errors of range (invalid valor of variables)
Specific information regarding the non-response rate is also available.
Unit non-response rate: A4=12,87%
The data from the statistics is published at the end of the year following that of the information reference year.
(time bracket until the publication of the final data) TP2=11 months
The dissemination of the data is performed in accordance with the structural statistics availability calendar that the INE prepares and publishes for each year.
The availability of a common methodology, design and process for collection, filtering, editing and elevation throughout the geographical scope, guarantees the comparability of the results among the different Autonomous Communities. On the other hand, the methodological adaptation to Commission Regulation no. 995/2012, of 26 October 2012, makes comparability possible with the remaining European Union countries.
In line with the Frascati Manual, the methodology applied since the implementation of these statistics allows for their comparability over time.
The classification change of National Classification of Economic Activities 2009 (CNAE-2009), implemented in reference year 2008, has been carried out without performing backcasting to link the two series. This classification change entails a break in series for the variables that are broken down by branch of activity.
There are CC2=11 comparable elements from the time series of the R&D expenditure and personnel variables, broken down by branch of activity (CNAE-2009).
The data collected by the statistics do not allow the comparison with other domains or sources, due to the absence thereof.
Regarding the different sectors (Companies, Public Administrations, Higher Education, PNPI) for which the INE collects information, the data provided by the statistics on the Business Sector are coherent with the statistics for the remaining sectors, as the standardised international regulations in the Frascati Manual, and which are extensively used on an international level, are implemented in each one of them.
Coherence is a fundamental matter, both in the planning of the survey methodology and in all of its preparation process. Coherence between variables is contrasted during all phases of the statistical process.
The statistics are 100% coherent on an internal level (for example, arithmetic and accounting identities are observed).
The budgetary credit necessary to finance the Statistics on R&D Activities (companies, public administration, higher education and PNPI) set out in the 2019 Annual Program is estimated at 715,67 thousand euros.
The use of electronic questionnaires has been implemented in order to facilitation completion thereof, and decrease the response burden.
The INE of Spain has a policy which regulates the basic aspects of statistical data revision, seeking to ensure process transparency and product quality. This policy is laid out in the document approved by the INE board of directors on 13 March of 2015, which is available on the INE website, in the section "Methods and projects/Quality and Code of Practice/INE’s Quality management/INE’s Revision policy" (link).
This general policy sets the criteria that the different type of revisions should follow: routine revision- it is the case of statistics whose production process includes regular revisions-; more extensive revision- when methodological or basic reference source changes take place-; and exceptional revision- for instance, when an error appears in a published statistic-.
There has been no situation which would lead to the revision of data, both methodological as extraordinary items
The data from the statistics is obtained from the information that is filled in by companies that potentially carry out R&D.
As of the year 2002, this study has been carried out in coordination with the Innovation in Companies Survey. The directory studied comprises the following:
- a comprehensive part that is contrasted with the CBR (Central Business Register), comprising those companies that potentially could carry out R&D activities (either because they appear as such from previous years, or because they have requested public financing for their own research projects), together with companies with more than 200 employees
- another random part extracted from the CBR, thus obtaining the final sample.
The data collection is annual, and is carried out during the months of March/April to July each year.
In this sense, the OECD and Eurostat recommend the collection of R&D data at least during the odd reference years, although in some countries, amongst them Spain, it has been carried out annually.
The information collection method is a mixed system based on post mailings and interviewer participation, with a significant telephone support for the collection thereof. The respondent units may send their data via the Internet, by ordinary post (completed print questionnaires) or by e-mail.
The initial stage of the survey information processing coincides with the collection fieldwork, and is carried out in parallel with the duration of the data collection. The articulated system is centred on the following main aspects: a continuous updating process; a filtering of the questionnaire content, integrated in the recording.
The recording and filtering of the questionnaires is carried out continuously by the same collection units responsible for the collection thereof, establishing the control regulations necessary to guarantee a suitable quality level for the whole process. Already in this phase, this facilitates controlling the errors that may affect the data obtained from the respondent units.
Once the data is received, in electronic format, by the unit responsible for the survey, an information coverage control is carried out, for the purpose of guaranteeing the completeness of the recorded data, detecting duplicities and coverage errors, and at the same time, being able to make a first assessment regarding the quality of the variables collected in the questionnaires. This phase is carried out on each one of the monthly files of recorded questionnaires, and its execution is prior to the compilation of the complete survey file, and at the beginning, therefore, of the whole information treatment (data processing).
During the micro-filtering process, the detection and filtering of errors and inconsistencies in the identification variables of each register are carried out, as well as the filtering and imputation of content errors. By virtue of the characteristics of each type of error, in certain cases, automatic imputation procedures are used, and in others, updates of the file are carried out, in order to incorporate the corrections of the errors detected. Similarly, the systematic errors detected in the studies and analyses carried out previously on the recorded data are corrected.
Once the micro-filtering phase is complete, the last stage prior to the tabulation and dissemination of the results consists of obtaining the analysis tables for eliminating those errors and inconsistencies detected in this phase using macro-filtering techniques.
Given the annual nature of the statistics, no seasonal adjustment is performed.