Catalonia leads EU health research funding to Spain
Health organisations in Catalonia received 43.5 MEUR from the EU Horizon 2020 programme to fund projects in this field between 2014 and 2015. This amount represents 42.5% of the total allocated by this European initiative to the Spanish State, according to figures released this Friday by the Spanish Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), a public business entity which belongs to the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Madrid is second on the ranking, with 25.6 MEUR received, followed by the Valencian Community, which got 8.2 MEUR. The Catalan Department for Health has stated that it considers these figures to prove “Catalonia’s clear leadership in health research”.
Barcelona (CNA).- The EU funding programme Horizon 2020 gave 43.5 MEUR to health organisations in Catalonia between 2014 and 2015. This represents 42.5% of the total allocated in this field in the Spanish State. The Catalan Department for Health has stated that it considers these figures to prove “Catalonia’s clear leadership in health research”. Madrid is second on the ranking, with 25.6 MEUR received, followed by the Valencian Community, which got 8.2 MEUR, according to data released this Friday by the Spanish Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), a public business entity which belongs to the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Besides the investment in health research projects, Catalonia also received 309.2 MEUR from the Horizon 2020 programme for projects in other fields, which represents 28% of the total funding given through the programme to Spain.
The European Commission’s programme Horizon 2020 is the EU’s leading initiative in terms of innovation and R&D. Launched in 2014, it has an 80-billion-euros budget until 2020. This financial instrument is responsible for the implementation of the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.
This EU funding has allowed the participation of Catalonia in more than 620 activities, 252 led by Catalan centres and institutes.
Seen as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs, Horizon 2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that research is an investment in our future and so put it at the heart of the EU’s blueprint for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs.
By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.
Innovative Catalan projects received €190 million from EU funds
Between 2014 and 2015, Horizon 2020 allocated 190 million euros to fund Catalan initiatives. This figure is 2.6% of the total that the European Commission has given out so far, a higher percentage than the proportionate weight of the Catalan population in the EU, which is 1.5%. “During the first year of Horizon 2020, Catalonia multiplied by 3.5 what was raised in the first year of the previous European funding programme, the FP7” stated Catalan Government’s General director of Research, Josep Maria Martorell, head of the entity which executes and promotes research and innovation initiatives in Catalonia. “Catalonia’s R&D system is one of the most productive and successful in Europe” he added. Most of the 142 companies which received Horizon 2020 funds were SMEs. They received between 50,000 and 2.5 million euros to carry out feasibility analysis and be able to fund their R&D activities, so that their projects could be launched.
According to Martorell, these figures show that “Catalonia’s R&D system is one of the most productive and successful in Europe and, therefore, our country appears as a 'positive' anomaly in Europe as a whole”. 27.6% of the funds received went to the Catalonia Research Centres ‘CERCA’, 22.8% were allocated to universities and 11.2% went to other research centres.