In order to put Catalan universities in the European context in terms of research and innovation material, it is essential to analyse the economic resources raised through competitive and non-competitive funds.
In 2015, there was a considerable increase in funds attracted by Catalan public universities for research and innovation in comparison with 2013, reversing the downward trend of recent years. A global figure of €266.8m was achieved, €80m more than in 2013. This improvement is due largely to a marked increase in competitive funds (€193m in 2015, and €121m in 2013), which represented 72% of the total resources, while 28% corresponded to non-competitive funds.
Moreover, between 2007 and 2013, Catalonia received €992m through the 7th Framework Programme. They also received €309m through H2020 between 2014 and 2015. Catalan universities received 21% of the total financing received in Catalonia through these two programmes between 2011 and 2015, a slight decrease in comparison with the previous period analysed (2009 to 2013), and indicates a sizeable increase in the funding raised by businesses and technology centres.
If we analyse the funds received by Catalonia per million inhabitants in 2015 through Starting Grants, Advanced Grants and Proof of Concept funding schemes, it can be concluded that there was a slight decrease in the Advanced Grants and Proof of Concept compared with 2014. But Catalonia occupies first place in the Proof of Concept scheme, having risen almost one percentage point compared to the previous year. This is a significant increase if we consider the four schemes in total, which puts Catalonia in the fourth place in the rankings, ahead of countries like Sweden, Belgium and United Kingdom. In total, 23 ERC grants were awarded: 4 Starting Grants, 6 Advanced Grants and 13 Proof of Concept Grants. This is 21% more than in 2014.
These figures show that Catalonia public universities have experienced a considerable increase in the funds received, reversing the downward trend of recent years. This signifies an improvement for research and innovation in Catalonia, which is linked to the remarkable progress in attracting European funds. This increase can be primarily related to the ending of the 7th Framework Programme in 2014 and the beginning of the H2020 programme in 2014, when Catalan universities are actively participating in the new goals and funding schemes.