The Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, stated that this report was the result of exercising responsibility and transparency towards citizens, and celebrated the fulfillment and progress of the commitments made by the Ministry to contribute, through science and innovation, to the modernization and transformation of our country.
Specifically, the report details that in the first half of 2022, four supplemental plans were approved, jointly managed and funded by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Independent Communities, in the strategic areas of agrifood, astrophysics and higher. Energy physics, advanced materials and biodiversity.
These plans are in addition to the other four plans approved by the government in 2021 in the areas of renewable energy, hydrogen, quantum communications, marine sciences and biotechnology applied to health.
In total, these eight plans are expected to mobilize 466 million euros up to 2025, of which the Ministry will finance 299 million euros and the autonomous communities, 167 million, under the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.
Another important goal achieved and highlighted in the report is to accompany young researchers in developing their careers, for which measures have been taken such as strengthening the mentoring program with a focus on gender. Or create the National Youth Research Awards, with 10 categories awarding €30,000 each.
In addition, the Ministry has made progress in its commitment to young researchers who have had to leave the Spanish scientific system and who wish to return.
In this sense, the Government has approved a plan to attract and retain scientific and innovative talent, with an award of 3,000 million euros to enhance the attraction and integration of international staff into the Spanish R & D & I system and to ensure the retention of talent in our country.
The ‘Cumpliendo’ report also confirms that the ministry has strengthened research in the space sector by creating the Space Council, an interministerial group responsible for setting the regulations and preliminary work plan for the future Spanish space agency, which would expedite the formation and start-up of this public body.
In addition, the invitation has been approved for the 2022 Aviation Technology Program (PTA), under the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, with a budget of €80 million.
Likewise, significant progress occurred in the first half of this year in the parliamentary process of the Science, Technology and Innovation Act, which has already been approved by the plenary session of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The text will go back to Congress for final approval.
This standard provides more resources, rights, opportunities, and stability for employees of the public R&D & I system in our country. It also ensures stable and growing public funding for research and development with a goal of 1.25% of GDP in 2030 – and 3% with private investment – in accordance with the Science and Innovation Charter.
Most relevant developments planned for the next semester
The ‘Compliance’ report anticipates the initiation of new research projects related to the environment, climate change and energy for the second half of 2022. For this purpose, the Ministry of Science and Innovation, through the State Research Agency, will award 296 million euros to research projects in environmental and digital transformation.
In the coming months, new public-private, interdisciplinary R&D and innovation projects, proof-of-concept and grant awards will also be developed as a result of international competitive calls, and cutting-edge research and development aimed at addressing societal challenges will be promoted.
Similarly, the Open Science Cluster will be coordinated and most of the required grants will be awarded for R&D and innovation projects and programs (proof of concept, R&D and innovation projects in strategic lines, international cooperation projects and PPP projects).
In addition, the ministry will launch a national center for advanced therapies in cooperation with the Ministry of Health. At the same time, the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) will be strengthened to create a biomedical research and development ecosystem while attracting internationally competitive industrial and commercial biomedical and biotechnological tissues, and the center’s work on advanced therapies and a P4 facility is expected to begin.
As part of its commitments for the coming months, the ministry is expected to publish the legacy of Santiago Ramón y Cajal. Specifically, the Cajal Year activities are expected to take place in September 2022.
The Mare Nostrum 5 Spain supercomputer will also be launched at the National Supercomputing Center in Barcelona (a public consortium formed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation, the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia).
In addition, a new cultural capital agreement will be signed with Barcelona City Council and the second protocol will be submitted to the joint cultural and scientific capital of Barcelona.
The obligations of the Government of Spain have been fulfilled
The fourth edition of Compliance concluded that the government has already met 53.3% of its commitments and expects to reach 61% by the end of the year. This report comes in response to the commitment made by the Prime Minister to be accountable to citizens on a regular and systematic basis.
This initiative strengthens our country’s position at the international forefront in this matter, allows us to advance in terms of democratic quality and a culture of public governance, combat political discontent, subject the work of government to citizen oversight, and develop an enrichment of the institutional learning process with public debate.
The methodology applied in preparing this report has been standardized and endorsed by the group of experts who have already collaborated on previous work. The main novelty of this release is the expansion of the information displayed in the dynamic view panel and in the open data file, both of which are available on the “Compliance” microsite, which is organized by sectoral themes.
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