Innovation and the Catalan Economy (OECD Reviews of Regional Innovation: Catalonia, Spain 2010)

With over 7 million inhabitants and a GDP of around EUR 204 billion, Catalonia is an important region within Spain and the OECD. It has a strong identify with its own language and distinct cultural heritage. The industrial tradition has lead to a diversified industrial base, concentrated in mediumlow and medium-high technology sectors. The region has had an influx of over 1 million immigrants since 2000, many low-skilled, to feed expansion of the service and construction sectors. Like Spain generally, the Catalan economy and GDP per capita has grown due to increased labour force participation while productivity has remained stagnant. Innovation is therefore essential to ensuring sustained economic growth -especially for its SMEs. Catalonia contributes significantly to Spain's innovation system due to its size and strength, making it one of the top Spanish regions. For the OECD, however, Catalonia's innovation performance is only average. Boosting the region's innovation performance will therefore benefit both Catalonia and Spain.
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