A growing share of R&D funds coming from European Framework Programmes

November 2013.- Framework Programmes (FP) for research and technological development are one of the main sources of funding from the European Union (EU) for research, development and innovation. Since their introduction in 1984, FPs have played a leading role in multidisciplinary research activity both within and outside European borders. The activities financed by FPs must have “European added value” such as transnationality, researcher mobility or the promotion of competition among scientists. The projects, which are approved according to a call for applications and expert assessment, are generally awarded 50% funding and, in the case of SMEs and researchers (including technology centres) the amount is 75%.

The 7th FP (2007-2013) is currently active. From 1990 to 2012 Spain received funding of €4,572.4m for projects included in the programme (€207.8m annually). The graph below shows where this funding was received (as a percentage) in the regional autonomous communities.

Growing Catalan participation

In the 1990-94 Framework Programme, which offered a total of €235m in finding, almost 60% was destined to financing R&D projects in the Community of Madrid. Over time, however, the process of decentralisation of returns has given Catalonia a clear boost.

Whereas Madrid’s share has dropped from 57.7% to 30%, Catalonia’s share has risen from 14.7% to 28.7%. The Basque Country’s share has remained relatively stable between 10% and 15% and the other autonomous communities have risen from 17% to 27.7%.

In fact, looking at the most recent data, Catalonia is the autonomous region whose share has increased most in the 7th Framework Programme compared with the previous one – 22%. This increase, together with a rise in return in absolute terms over time, has meant that Catalan projects, which received €221m in 2003-2006 (€55.2m annually) went on to receive €673m in the period 2007-2012 (€112.2m annually).

Catalonia in Business