Catalan public universities are at the forefront of scientific production across Spanish universities as a whole: the numbers presented in this report confirm that in 2015 Catalan public universities experienced a consider- able increase in terms of funds raised, 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 start of the H2020 programme in 2014, when Catalan universities are actively participating in the new goals and funding schemes.
This positive dynamic can also be observed in the creation of doctoral theses. In fact, during the academic year 2014 to 2015, 2354 theses were defended in Catalan public universities, an increase of 5.4% with respect to the previous academic year, and a 31% increase on the previous five years. This data demonstrates the high training capabilities of the research personnel in the universities in all fields. As for the international aspect, 34.5% of these theses were defended by foreigners.
The development of the third mission by universities through the promotion of evaluation processes for re- search results and public-private collaboration in R+D are an example of the universities’ commitment to society. The principle available indicators associated with the transfer of knowledge are related to the protection of patent knowledge via the creation of technology-based companies or spin-offs and R+D+I contracts. These indicators allow us to visualise an important part of the universities’ effort to promote the third mission.
In 2014, Catalan universities generated 24% of the income for knowledge transfer activities in comparison with all universities in the Spanish state.
In the area of knowledge transfer and the university-business collaboration, it must be highlighted that from 2013, the amount of non-competitive funds attracted by the ACUP universities and associated bodies (research institutes and technology centres) maintained a slight upward curve.
The report shows that the results of the Catalan system of research and innovation are consolidating their huge potential in terms of efficiency, and a general upward trend is confirmed.