The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) is the largest public institution dedicated to research in Spain and the third largest in Europe. Belonging to the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, its main objective is to develop and promote research that will help bring about scientific and technological progress, and it is prepared to collaborate with Spanish and foreign entities in order to achieve this aim. According to its Statute (article 4), its mission is to foster, coordinate, develop and promote scientific and technological research, of a multidisciplinary nature, in order to contribute to advancing knowledge and economic, social and cultural development, as well as to train staff and advise public and private entities on this matter.
CSIC plays an important role in scientific and technological policy, since it encompasses an area that takes in everything from basic research to the transfer of knowledge to the productive sector. Its research is driven by its centres and institutes, which are spread across all the autonomous regions, and its more than 15,000 staff, of whom more than 3,000 are staff researchers and the same number again are doctors and scientists who are still training. CSIC has 6% of all the staff dedicated to Research and Development in Spain, and they generate approximately 20% of all scientific production in the country. It also manages a range of important facilities; the most complete and extensive network of specialist libraries, and also has joint research units.