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Scientific production in Catalonia endures despite a 19% reduction of research funds

In 2011 and 2012, funds for scientific research in Catalonia dropped from €277 million to €224 million, a 19% decrease, according to a study issued on Friday by the Catalan Association of Public Universities. Despite this drastic budget reduction, scientific production has managed to keep similar levels to previous years and continue standing at levels similar to those in countries such as the UK or Belgium. The report compiles the main research and innovation indicators for 2011 and 2012. However, the main representatives of public universities warn that scientific production is at risk and could drop to pre-2010 levels if the budget situation does not shift. They also highlighted that public universities in Catalonia have the challenge of attracting greater private investment for its research projects.

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12 December 2014 09:12 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- In 2011 and 2012, funds for scientific research in Catalonia dropped from €277 million to €224 million, a 19% decrease, according to a study issued on Friday by the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP). Despite this drastic budget reduction, scientific production has managed to keep similar levels to previous years and continue standing at levels similar to those in countries such as the UK or Belgium. Catalonia represents 0.7% of the entire world's scientific production, while it represents 0.1% of the world's population. The report compiles the main research and innovation indicators for 2011 and 2012. In addition, Catalonia has a 1.73% rate in funds from the European Research Council (ERC) per million of inhabitants, higher than the French or German rate and much higher than the Spanish one. In fact, a significant amount of the research projects developed in Catalonia is carried in collaboration with other research institutions from throughout the world.


Funds for scientific research in Catalonia dropped by €53 million in 2011 and 2012. Public funds allocated through competition processes dropped from €201 million to €155.5 million, while those allocated by direct assignation (mostly from the private sector) decreased from €76.4 million to €68.7 million. Despite this drastic drop, scientific production is managing to keep the high levels of previous years.

Scientific production is at risk if budget is not increase

The main representatives of public universities warn that scientific production is at risk and could drop to pre-2010 levels if the budget situation does not shift. Roberto Fernández, President of the ACUP, stated that they understand the difficult economic situation and the lack of resources within the public sector, but at the same time they insist that this situation cannot last much longer in time without seriously affecting results. They also highlighted that public universities in Catalonia have the challenge of attracting greater private investment for its research projects.

The Deputy Minister for Universities and Research of the Catalan Government, Antoni Castellà, also shared the need to attract further private funds. He specifically asked industrial companies to further invest in innovation and research. According to him, in the future, two thirds of the funds for research should come from the private sector, since investing in innovation is essential to guarantee competitiveness.

Besides, Castellà also wanted to publicly congratulate researchers, since despite the difficult economic period; they have managed to keep high standards. Castellà said that Catalan research sector is producing almost \"10 times more\" than it should in terms of its population size, which does not happen in any other sector, he said.

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  • scientific_production_catalonia

  • The presentation of the report on Catalonia's scientific production (by ACN)