ABACO > The project


In today’s world, it is generally agreed that a significant part of economic activity and growth, as well as opportunities for social and personal development, are based on knowledge. In fact, knowledge is demanded in advanced countries, where it is considered to be the way in which their economies can compete, generating sufficient value added to offset their high levels of costs. Growth deriving from knowledge-based activities is considered to be the great challenge facing Spain in coming years, as it means transforming an economy that has been based on traditional rather than knowledge-based activities.

ABACO (Knowledge-Based Activities) is a joint project of the Ivie, VLCCampus and the COTEC Foundation, whose aim is to promote reflection and analyses of these activities. Its objectives are to find out exactly what the dimensions of knowledge-based activities are in today’s Spain, to measure the evolution of their weight in employment and the total value added of each industry, and to draw profiles of these activities from multiple perspectives: that of knowledge-generating institutions, the users of these institutions, the effects of knowledge-based activities on growth, competitiveness, welfare and sustainability, etc. ABACO is structured around three factors:


  1. Generating its own open information system, accessible via the web, on all the relevant dimensions of these activities from both a global and a local perspective.
  2. Producing, storing and disseminating papers, reports, briefing notes, maps, and other audiovisual materials dedicated to analyzing the trajectory of knowledge-based activities in Spain from multiple perspectives.
  3. Promoting initiatives to generate shared visions regarding the situation of knowledge-based activities, thus boosting competitiveness, growth and welfare based on knowledge.


The ABACO Observatory is crucial in supporting the generation of information. This tool offers a comprehensive system of indicators on the situation of Spain, its international position and territorial differences regarding this aspect. Furthermore, ABACO has developed its own methodology to measure the weight of these activities in GDP and in employment in Spain, its regions and its neighbouring countries, with a broad sectoral disaggregation. The Ivie works on producing documents of analysis on knowledge-based activities using the available information together with that generated by the project itself.

The ABACO website plays a key role in disseminating not only its own analyses but also that of others on knowledge-based activities. An important part of the website is the ABACO library, which stores and provides access to a wide range of new reports, working papers and publications in general.

ABACO offers its users updated information on research projects considered to be of interest at national and international level in the field of the knowledge economy, making it possible to be informed of advances in the knowledge society through its website.

ABACO also aims to become a meeting point for universities, research centres, companies and professionals who regularly participate in these activities and play a key role in the development of the knowledge society and economy.