Catalan universities have a research model “comparable” to the most advanced EU countries
A study undertaken by the Catalan Association of Public Universities shows that 64% of all funds for research came from public or private competition processes. This shows the Catalan university system’s capacity to attract this type of funds, which leads the study to conclude that the system is “solid”, “at the forefront” in Spain and “comparable” to the university systems of the most advanced EU countries. In 2012, the total budget for research in Catalonia’s public universities was €346 million, which represented 20% of their total budget.
Barcelona (ACN).- A study undertaken by the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP) and released on Monday shows that 64% of all funds for research came from public or private competition processes. This study on research and innovation indicators shows the Catalan system\u2019s capacity to attract these funds in open competition. This leads the study to conclude that the system is \u201Csolid\u201D, \u201Cat the forefront\u201D in Spain and \u201Ccomparable\u201D to the university systems of the most advanced EU countries. Furthermore, in 2012, the total budget for research in Catalonia\u2019s public universities was \u20AC346 million, which represented 20% of their total budget.
The report \u2018Indicadors de recerca i innovaciói de les universitats públiques catalanes\u2019 (Research and innovation indicators of Catalan public universities), written by the ACUP, states that 64% of the total funds for research came from competitive calls released by public and private institutions. 22% of these competitive funds had a European origin, while the remaining 78% mostly came from calls funded by the Spanish and Catalan governments.
On average, Catalan universities obtained 46,580 euros per researcher in 2012. All the resources for research, from competitive and non-competitive grants and funds, totalled \u20AC346 million, which represents 20% of the entire budget of Catalonia\u2019s public universities.
With these figures, the study concludes that the Catalan university system has enough \u201Cmaturity and excellence\u201D to obtain resources and generate knowledge in \u201Can effective and efficient\u201D way, based on the high productivity and the quality of their research staff.
A warning signal: the risk of \u201Cgoing backwards\u201D
With this study, the ACUP also sent a warning signal. With the economic crisis, the Catalan university system is exposed to the possibility of \u201Cgoing backwards\u201D. According to the ACUP, the system is vulnerable to the current tensions that make it unsustainable over time if the results obtained are to be kept at the same levels.
Therefore, the study points to the challenge of keeping and improving the obtained research results, as well as to strengthen innovation on the basis of the knowledge generated and thus to increase the connections between universities and companies. The report also indicates the need to foster an entrepreneurial culture linked to research and innovation. In fact, increasing the cooperation levels between private businesses and universities has been one of the main priorities of the last few years, including the development of scientific parks and infrastructures as well as fostering technological start-ups.