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Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


R&D Organisations

There are two main kinds of organisations directly performing R&D activities in Spain: higher education establishments and public research institutions. Technology centres in the region are rather scarce.

Higher Education organisations

There are 15 universities in Madrid region and more than 20 public research institutions depending on the State Administration. Out of the 121 total research institutes of CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) 48 are placed in Madrid.

Out of the 69 public universities in Spain, 6 of them are located in Madrid - 16% of total students - depending on the Regional budget (UNED has a National statute). Additionally 8 universities are private (2 of them linked to agreements with the Vatican). The total 15 Comunidad de Madrid universities are distributed in 20 campuses situated in the city of Madrid and 10 other municipalities. 86% of the university students in Madrid are registered in public universities and 14% in private ones.

The Madrid Private Universities are Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio, Universidad Antonio de Lebrija, Universidad Camilo José Cela, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, Universidad San Pablo-CEU, Universidad Pontificia Comillas and Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca. All the private universities but one (U.P. Comillas) are mainly focused in social sciences therefore having only a small research activity.

Public Universities Students (1st & 2nd degrees) - academic year 2003-2004 Teaching and Research personnel 2004 Spanish Patent Applications (OEPM) 2001-2004 EPO Patent Applications 2001-2004 Spin offs created 2004-2007
Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) 86 951 5 843 51 9 9
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) 39 411 3 271 46 6 13
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) 30 053 2 247 17 5 7
Universidad de Alcalá (UA) 19 040 1 650 18 0 7
Universidad Carlos III (UC3M) 16 359 1 597 15 0 10
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC) 14 400 1 113 3 1 6
Total regional 166 803 15 721 150 21 52
Universidad Nacional a Distancia (UNED)1 143 701 n/a 6 1 4

UNED is a national university depending on the Ministry of Education (MEC), with central headquarters in Madrid

Nearly all the EU university degrees are represented in the Madrid universities (as an example, UCM offers 75 different degrees) which constitute the strongest higher education agglomeration in Spain and one of the most important in Europe.

Public (National) research institutions

Most of the national research institutions have their headquarters and main research facilities and labs located in the region of Madrid. They are linked to the National Ministries.

  • The main Spanish research institution, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), has 49 research institutes based in Madrid out of a total of 133
  • Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO)
  • Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT)
  • Instituto Geominero (IGME)
  • Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA)
  • Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISC3)
  • Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas (CNIO)
  • Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC)
  • Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA)
  • Centro de Estudios y Experimentación de Obras Públicas (CEDEX)

Public (Regional) research institutions

Since 2006 Comunidad de Madrid is implementing the IMDEA; Regional advanced research institutes, in 9 different fields of science. They are developed in cooperation with the regional universities, being also involved in its development a large number of important companies based in the region. In some of the institute other public Administrations are also taking part in the endeavour.

Technology centres

There are two kinds of technology centres in the region: Both those linked to the Comunidad de Madrid : IMIDRA-Instituto Madrileño de Investigacion y Desarrollo Rural, in charge of agriculture and food research, or those directly supported, such as CIT-AGM Centro de Innovación Tecnológica para las Artes Gráficas, and CIDAM, currently under creation, participated by CM, CDTI (State Administration) and EADS.

Nation-wide private technology centres based in Madrid : AITEMIN (mining), AITIM (wood products), IPE (paper), CESOL (welding) and ICEA (software). All of them but AITEMIN are of small dimension, meaning 0,5% of total private R&D expenditure in the region.

Public authorities - legal competencies

Regional development institutions emerged in Spain since the early '80s as central actors of the political scenery, taking care more and more of inter-sectoral issues and enlarging their field of competences to innovation, R&D and higher education along the following 20 years. That applies to the Comunidad de Madrid, created as a one-province Autonomous Community in 1983, being one of the Spain's 17 Autonomous Communities (Regions).

The approaches that the Madrid Regional Administration proposes in its policies and strategies are mainly limited by the share of competences between the Region and the State's General Administration established in the Spanish legal system, also conditioned by the European Union regulations and directives. The legal autonomy of the Universities and the potential role to be played by the local Administration (mainly large municipalities, such as the City of Madrid) are also elements to be considered in the development of research and innovation policies.

Intermediaries and support services

Science and Technology Parks based in the Comunidad de Madrid (use hyperlinks for further individual information):

Science / Technology Park Main promoters University liaison
Parque Tecnológico de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid - IMADE -------
Parque Científico-Tecnológico de la UAH- Tecnoalcalá Comunidad de Madrid - IMADE
Universidad de Alcalá
Ayuntamiento de Alcalá de Henares
Universidad de Alcalá
Parque Científico de la Universidad Carlos III - Legatec Comunidad de Madrid - IMADE
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Ayuntamiento de Leganés
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Parque Científico-Tecnológico de la Universidad Rey Juan Carlos - Móstoles Tecnológico Comunidad de Madrid - IMADE
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
Ayuntamiento de Móstoles
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
Parque Científico de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid - Consejerías de Educación y de Economía
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Parque Tecnológico UPM : campus Vallecas / Montegancedo Comunidad de Madrid - IMADE
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Universidad Polítécnica de Madrid
Consorcio Urbanístico Área Tecnológica del Sur Comunidad de Madrid - IMADE
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Ayuntamiento de Getafe
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Other additional large infrastructures are currently planned: IMADE is promoting the City of Finance in Boadilla and the City of Knowledge in Colmenar Viejo while the Madrid municipality is developing the City of Madrid Technology Park in Villaverde.

Technology process / dissemination offices

The Comunidad de Madrid (Economy department - D.G. Innovation) has put in place since 2004 a programme of Centros de Difusión Tecnológica (CDT) - technology dissemination experts based in Chambers of Commerce and Business Association territorial offices, which role is supporting firms innovation through information about technology and public programmes (national, regional and European) participation.

Besides, IMADE has 12 regional offices based in different areas of the region.

Industry Liaison Offices

  • Fundación Universidad-Empresa (FUE, member of the nation-wide REDFUE which addresses relationships university-industry and technology transfer).
  • Oficinas de Transferencia de Resultados de la Investigación - OTRI, based in the research institutions and Universities, being a part of a national network (Red OTRI) formed by more than one hundred nodes. In total 32 OTRIS are based in Madrid out of the 216 OTRIS officially registered by the Ministry of Education for the total of Spain; they are hosted by the following types of organisations:
    11 Universities, 12 Research institutes, 3 Technology centres, 5 Business Associations, 1 Administration.
  • The European Innovation Relay Centres (IRC) Network (currently transformed in European Enterprise network) has a node in Madrid addressing technology transfer support services. The node is lead by Fundación madrimasd, and formed by CSIC, Prque Científico de Madrid and 3 Business Associations (CEIM, AECIM, AEDHE).

Coordination and Networking

Most of the public institutions and organisations related to RDI in Madrid are located in a surface not larger than 3,000 sq. km what facilitates the inter-connection and collaboration. Coordination structures also help networkig and development of common endeavours. The main ones are:

Universities coordination

Created 2003, the Conferencia de Rectores de las Universidades Madrileñas (CRUMA) is the coordinating body of the Madrid public universities (Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad Carlos III, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid y Universidad Rey Juan Carlos). It is the a regional body mirroring the national Conferencia de Rectores de las Universidades Españolas (CRUE).

CRUMA's objectives are the defence of common interests in higher quality education, in the frame of the universities autonomy in the region of Madrid, promoting cooperation among universities and with public Administration. Its rotating president is an elected Rector of one of the member universities.

Technology/Science Parks and Clusters Network

IMADE is managing the Technology/Science Parks and Clusters Network, coordinating on one side the 4 Technology Parks promoted by the Comunidad de Madrid in Getafe, Leganés, Móstoles y Alcalá de Henares. Two new projects will be also developed in the next future: the City of Finance in Boadilla and City of Knowledge in Conocimiento en Colmenar Viejo. In total these Parks will cover a surface of 1.174 Ha, offering room for more than thousand firms through a public investment of 1.147 million euros. IMADE has also created the Clusters Network , which coordinates the 9 regional clusters: Finance, Biotech, Aerospace, Logistics, ICT Security, Audiovisual, Automotive, Health and Printing & Publishing.

This network allows a narrow interconnection amongst the companies located in the largest business infrastructures of the region, as well as easier access to the regional new R&D institutions (IMDEA) and close connection with the activities of the madrimasd Network.

Network of Laboratories and Research Infrastructures

It is involving a growing number of public services centers and laboratories, normally belonging to Research Institutions and Universities. They cooperate in order to upgrade their facilities according to international standards, to train their technical staff and to improve the services for researchers and companies.

The members are different 0rganizations, with different organizational cultures, and internal methods working in different scientific areas (Physics, Chemistry, Biology,..). Currently, 196 laboratories belonging to 17 Organizations (8 Universities, 7 Research institutions, 1 Technology Park and 1 private laboratory) are part of the Network.

Network mission is to disseminate the scientific and technical potential of the members, support the laboratories and the services they provide, and improve the management adopting international quality standards. Among the benefits the members receive being part of the network are information, training, Quality Management advise, promotion of intercomparisons and laboratories collaboration; meanwhile for companies better access to lab services is provided, together with metrology and quality consults and other services.

Madrimasd network

It is the most important regional structuring network existing at the moment.


In 1997 as a result of the regional innovation strategy design in the frame of the RITTS/RIS Program, an integrated approach ("Sistema madrI+D") (I+D is the Spanish acronym for R&D) to deal with the mentioned challenges has been adopted by the Comunidad de Madrid.

The madri+d system has been created with specific goals: promote scientific quality of Madrid research, stimulate technology innovation and joint actions between the scientific and business communities, co-ordinate actions among universities and research institutions, develop a framework to encourage the creation of companies from research projects, co-ordinate scientific research and technology development activities with regional, national and international organizations, maintain information and communication facilities to link scientific, industrial and technological communities and participate in European R&D programs.


All 7 public universities, plus the private ones and research institutions based in Madrid (CSIC - National Research Council, INTA -National Aerospace Institute, etc.), as well as business associations (mainly the Regional Confederation of Industries - CEIM) became formal members of the madri+d network, being their commitment to madri+d system guaranteed by agreements that include work plans funded by the Regional Plan of Research and Innovation.


Among the outstanding long-term activities of the system madri+d we will mention:

  • Development of technology transfer involving the madri+d members. The system has adopted at regional level approached and procedures developed by the Innovation Relay Centers Network to support their international technology transfer activities. Among the madri+d electronic tools developed to manage the activities, it is to be outlined a technology marketplace allowing the direct management by the users of their technology offers and demands.
  • A Network of Laboratories and Research Infrastructures has been created involving 165 public services centers (material essays labs, technical centers, etc.) that are supported to upgrade their facilities according to international standards and improving their organization and services for researchers and companies.
  • The Innovation Circles, program which has been conceived as an space of dialogue for researchers and companies and a support to the clustering processes at work in the Madrid region, develop technology watch (TW) and economical and technological intelligence (ETI) services both for business associations and SMEs while incorporate researchers and experts from different fields. Four Circles exist at the moment (biotechnology; materials, nanotech and aerospace technology, environment & energy, information technologies and communications) hosted by regional research centers.
  • A support program for the creation of technology-based firms is working at three levels: support to academic institutions in their activities for awareness and identification of entrepreneurs; support for firms in preparation of business plans and constitution through mentoring and coaching actions; help for start-ups during 3 years for developing management abilities (marketing and communication, financial, negotiation, etc.), and finally search of location and funding through established agreements with financial organizations and the madri+d own Business Angels Network (BAN).
  • A Science in Society programme together with information and communication services are strongly promoting citizens' participation in order to attain their support and co-responsibility in regional policies of science and technology: the "Madrid and the Science" program receives more than 140.000 visitors (high-school students, researchers and innovating companies) along three days every year; also, the Science Week developed in 2006 more than 550 open-day activities. This programme has created also a network of university science museums and a contest on architectonic spaces for science.

Last updated: 2009-12-10