Spain - Global health R&D

This section focuses on donor countries’ support for global health research and development (R&D) that addresses the global health challenges disproportionately affecting the world’s most disadvantaged people. Following the methodological approach used by Policy Cures Research (read G-Finder’s scope document), it focuses on donor funding and policy in three main areas: 1) emerging infectious diseases (EIDs); 2) poverty-related and neglected diseases (PRNDs); and 3) sexual and reproductive health (SRH). As part of the EID R&D funding, this section also takes a closer look at donor contributions for COVID-19 R&D within the framework of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A). This section excludes domestic funding for health R&D that does not benefit low- and middle-income countries. Not all funding mentioned qualifies as ODA.)
 
Spain was the eighteenth-largest donor to global health R&D in 2019. 

According to data from the G-FINDER survey conducted by Policy Cures Research, Spain contributed US$3 million in total to R&D for PRNDs only. Spain did not fund EIDs and SRHR.

Spain’s funding for PRNDs decreased in 2019 after a large spike in 2018. 

In 2019, Spain invested US$3 million in R&D for PRNDs which included funding for R&D exclusively relevant to PRNDS. This makes Spain the 17th-largest public supporter of PRND R&D in 2019.  Funding levels in 2019 saw a significant decrease compared to 2018 when funding stood at US$11 million. 
In terms of funding for major disease areas, most of Spain’s funding for PRNDs in 2019 was directed towards 'R&D for more than one disease' (79% or US$3 million), bacterial pneumonia & meningitis (15% or US$497,194), malaria (5% or US186, 285) and kinetoplast diseases (1% or US$29,111)

Spain did not fund R&D for EIDs in 2019.

The methodological approach used by Policy Cures Research (read G-Finder’s scope document), indicates no donor funding from Spain for R&D in EID in 2019 

Although SRH is a development priority, Spain did not fund SRH R&D in 2019.

The methodological approach used by Policy Cures Research (see G-Finder’s scope document), indicates no donor funding from Spain for R&D in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in 2019, although sexual and reproductive health and rights are given as a key priority under the ‘Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2018-2021’. 

R&D for COVID-19 is a key focus of Spain’s latest development policy.

The COVID-19 crisis has placed global health R&D and epidemic preparedness on top of the Spanish government’s agenda. In March of 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, Spain’s Prime Minister announced €30 million (US$34 million ) in R&D funding for new biomedical tools for diagnosing, preventing, and treating the virus. In July of 2020, the Spanish government approved a new plan for R&D initiatives worth €1.0 billion (US$1.1 billion). This new funding line, to be disbursed between 2020 and 2021, includes €216 million (US$242 million) specifically allocated to health-related R&D activities, €524 million (US$587 million) to strengthen the Spanish R&D system, and €317 million (US$355 million) to the private sector. Spain will also provide up to €508 million (US$569 million) in loans for COVID-19 research. 

MAUC and the Ministry of Science are the main ministries responsible for global health R&D. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAUC) is the main ministry working on global health R&D. MAUC’s Health Division is responsible for global health R&D funding. Spain’s development agency (the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation or AECID) works on funding and implementation of global health R&D programs through its Directorate for Multilateral and Sectoral Cooperation. In turn, the Ministry of Science steers Spain’s national strategy on R&D, including for global health. The Ministry of Science’s Carlos III Health Institute implements health-related R&D interventions through direct investments and channels funding to national research initiatives. It also represents Spain’s position on health R&D to the EU. Previously, MAUC and the Spanish Development Promotion Fund (FONPRODE) financed product-development partnerships (PDPs), but this funding channel has been discontinued now that FONPRODE’s budget only includes loans and equities. 


According to the methodological approach used by Policy Cures Research (see G-Finder’s scope document), funding from the R&D sector mostly came from the Catalan Department of Health, which provided 40% or US$1.4 million in funding. The next largest funders to this sector included the Catalan Ministry of Economy and Knowledge (which provided 29% or US$998,580), MAUC (15% or US$497,194), and the Barcelona City Council (8% or US$279,917).