Monitoring and evaluation system of business-oriented research & development (R&D) subsidy programmes of the Basque Government.
The Basque Government has a relatively long tradition of supporting business-oriented research and development (R&D). Thus, it accounts for the largest share of the Basque innovation policy mix’s budget. Apart from that, advanced manufacturing is the biggest topic in business R&D expenditure. Furthermore, manufacturing accounts for a large part of the Basque economy (25.4% of its Gross Value Added in 2016 according to Eurostat; 16.4% in the European Union).
In order to better support companies, it is necessary to keep improving the innovation policy mix and, to this effect, it is necessary to be able to measure the programmes’ resources, results and impacts since it enables a deeper understanding of their effectiveness and efficiency.

This is why the Basque Government introduced a monitoring and evaluation system of business-oriented R&D programmes, called SIME. It gives precise and structured data of resources, results (e.g. patent applications) and impacts (e.g. incomes, employment, internationalisation and competitiveness). All projects, the majority of which are related to advanced manufacturing, are measured ex-ante, on-going and at completion. In addition, a representative sample of projects are measured ex-post to gather impact data.

This could be considered a good practice since it enables the redesign of the innovation policy mix for a greater result-orientation and allows improving resource allocation within it according to the contribution of the programmes.

Resources needed

The system requires 0.6 employees in full-time equivalent (FTE).
The annual external costs for subcontracting the data gathering through surveys and the elaboration of the reports are of €20,000.
Additional software development is also required.

Evidence of success

Thanks to SIME, the contribution of the Basque business-oriented R&D programmes on companies and on research centres could be measured for the first time systematically. Currently, the Basque Government and its Business Development Agency (SPRI) have a better understanding of the performance of the business-oriented R&D programmes and they are in the position to set realistic ex-ante goals for them.

Difficulties encountered

- Measuring the attribution of the supported projects and its results/impacts.
- Gathering data from a representative sample of companies.
- Distortions produced on the historical series by the changes made in the programmes.

Potential for learning or transfer

This evaluation and monitoring system created by the Basque Government and its Business Development Agency (SPRI) has a great potential for learning. It shows the feasibility to conduct ex-post measurements of R&D programmes’ impacts and how these measurements could help to the decision taking.

This is interesting for other European regions, because they can develop a similar system to get information which is normally unknown by the authorities systematically.

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Main institution
Regional Government of País Vasco
Andalucía, Spain (España)
Start Date
January 2013
End Date


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Good Practices being followed by

Iñaki Ganzarain

Basque Innovation Agency, Innobasque

Virginia Vidal Touza

Axencia Galega de Innovación