4.2. Specialisation

The Basque Country is well positioned with regards to employment in high and medium-high technology manufacturing. The employment position in knowledge-intensive services is not as favourable

The comparative specialisation indicators in Table 8 focus on two groups of activities which are considered especially important: high- and medium-high-tech manufacturing and intensive knowledge services. Although the trend was slightly negative in the last year, causing it to lose several positions, we can see that the Basque Country continues to have one of the highest proportions of employment in high- and medium-high-tech manufacturing in Europe, Spain and the group of reference regions. The trend graphs show that in recent years, employment levels in high- and medium-high-tech manufacturing have been on a par with those of Germany, and above the European average and the average for the reference regions. However, the position with regard to knowledge-intensive services is not as favourable. This indicator, which was increasing until 2012, dropped after that, and only began to bounce back in the last year. Although it is above Spain, it remains below the average for Germany, Europe and the reference regions.

Table 8. Status of the Basque Country in terms of the specialisation indicators.
Table 8. Status of the Basque Country in terms of the specialisation indicators
Source: Eurostat. Compiled by authors.
NB: The rankings have been compiled based on 218 European regions, the Basque Country and the group of 30 reference regions, and the 19 Spanish autonomous communities and cities.
Graph 12. Variation in specialisation indicators.
Graph 12. Variation in specialisation indicators
Graph 12. Variation in specialisation indicators
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Source: Eurostat. Compiled by authors.

The comparative analysis of specialisation is supplemented below by a detailed analysis of scientific (measured in publications), technological (through an analysis of patents) and commercial/economic specialisation (focused on exports). This makes it possible to determine the territory’s different fields of specialisation and supplement the description of the structural conditions, presented in section 5 of this report. Having a more detailed understanding of these areas helps reveal the existence of strengths to support smart specialisation strategies and detect possible deficiencies that it would be necessary to bolster. This analysis is developed in greater detail in the technical report which accompanies this report.