Catalonia received 73% more funding from the last EU research programme than from the previous one
Between 2007 and 2010, Catalan research centres and private companies participated in a total of 1,047 projects funded by the Seventh Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development of the European Union. In total, Catalan researchers have received 384 million euros from the EU in the last four years, which represents a 73% increase in relation to the previous programme, which ran from mid 2002 to 2006.
Barcelona (ACN).- Catalan public and private research centres, as well as private companies obtained 384 million euros to develop research from the European Union. A total of 1,047 projects were carried out in Catalonia between 2007 and 2010 with European Union funds, from the Seventh Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development (FP7). The figures show an increase of 73% in funds supporting Catalan research compared to the previous framework programme, the sixth one, which ran from mid-2002 to 2006.
The Catalan Agency of University and Research Grant Management (AGAUR) presented the figures this week in Barcelona. The Executive Director of AGAUR, Pere Pardo, explained that out of the 309 institutions that received EU funds over the last four year period, 30% were universities, 28% research centres of the Catalan Government, and 16% private companies. Almost four out of every ten research projects of the FP7 with Catalan participation have been lead by a Catalan research group.
Compared to the rest of Spain, Catalonia ranks high for receiving EU funds for research. Catalan researchers obtained 29% of all the EU funds that went to Spain within the FP7. Catalonia received 2% of the total funding for the entire European Union.
Catalonia\u2019s performance applying for EU funds is improving with each year. In 2010, it obtained 125 million euros, while in 2009, it received 96 million. According to Navarro, these figures show that Catalan research is improving its competitiveness. Among the 20 institutions that managed to develop the largest number of projects are four public universities, which have concentrated 25% of all the funds obtained.
Regarding research fields, the area to which more funds were devoted were information and communication technologies (35%), followed by health (20%). Nanotechnologies, material and production was ranked third (12%), and environmental projects also ranked high (8%).
The good results obtained by Starting Grants for young researchers also deserve to be mentioned, together with the good results by Advanced Grants, for senior researchers. They are given by the European Research Council, included within the FP7. Taking into account the eight Starting Grants announced a few days ago corresponding to 2011, Catalonia has a total of 67 researchers with Starting and Advanced Grants, 30 of which (45%) have ICREA contracts.
The Seventh Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development began in 2007 and will end in 2013. Currently it is the main funding tool for research projects, technological development and innovation within the EU. It aims to improve the European Union\u2019s competitiveness by funding activities in research and innovation carried out by transnational teams of public and private organisations. It involves EU member states but projects can include centres from associated states or third countries. It has a total budget of 50.521 billion euros for the seven years.