4.2.4. Summary of specialisation indicators

The analysis of commercial/economic specialisation shows that the Basque Country specialises primarily in motor vehicles, metalworking and metal products, machinery and equipment, and petroleum refining. Although this entails certain risks due to the links between them, they are sectors with quite high related variety and which maintain high positive trade balances. Notable features include the low degree of specialisation in high-tech and high demand growth exports and science and technology-intensive industries, which are less sensitive to competition from emerging markets. This may have repercussions for the implementation of Basque RIS3, as noteworthy among these industries are the underspecialisation in pharmaceuticals (relevant to the biosciences/health strategy), electronic materials and equipment (although in this case muted by the positive balance of trade), and computer and electronic products (important for the advanced manufacturing strategy). Also noteworthy is the underspecialisation in food, relevant to this area of opportunity.

The underspecialisation in sectors more closely linked to the EICT (electronic, information and communication technologies) of Industry 4.0 is confirmed by the analysis of technological specialisation, as although it has lessened in recent years, we see a significant underspecialisation in electronic engineering, especially in patents applicable to the electrical equipment and IT services industries. However, this is partially offset by a slight specialisation in the scientific sphere of mathematics and IT. As regards the biosciences/health strategy, the picture is the opposite, as the underspecialisation in scientific production in biomedicine and health and life and earth sciences is partially offset by the specialisation in patents linked to the chemicals industry (especially in pharmaceutical products). We are seeing progress in both publications and patents linked to this strategy.

It is also worth noting that the strong commercial specialisation in metals and mechanical industries is reinforced by the significant specialisation in patents applicable to these sectors, something which is not seen in the case of motor vehicles or railway equipment, where the trade benefits are not reinforced by a specialisation in patents applicable to transport equipment.