The analysis of the financial resources raised, through competitive and non-competitive funds, presents a contextual overview, at the European level, of the research and innovation activity of Catalan public universities.
Regarding funds raised by universities in competitive calls at the state level, it should be noted that, with the implementation of the new 2017-2020 State Plan on Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation, there was no resolution of any call for projects in 2017 for the State R&D Programme Oriented at Society’s Challenges or for the State Programme for Knowledge Generation and Scientific and Technological Strengthening of the R&D&I System, so this affects the funds raised that year. However, in 2018 the positive trend in obtaining state and regional competitive funds recovered, and a slight decrease in European and international competitive funds is detected, which can be explained by the inherent fluctuations of competitive funds. In short, the 2018 figures for competitive funds exceeded €211 million (i.e. 75.1% of the funds raised) and €70 million for non-competitive funds.
If we examine the success of Catalan public universities in the 2014-2018 period with regard to the H2020 framework programme, we find that 24.6% of the total resources obtained by Catalonia were the result of the participation of universities, which obtained a total of €265 million of the €1,080 million achieved throughout Catalonia. In the context of Spain, Catalonia raised almost 30% of the H2020 resources in this period.
In the calls for Starting Grants, Consolidated Grants, Advanced Grants and Proof of Concept promoted by the European Research Council in 2018, Catalan public universities received a total of 32 grants, representing 50% of those obtained in Spain. This put Catalonia in a prominent position in the analysis of funds raised per million inhabitants, especially for Proof of Concept, with 13 grants (2nd place in the table of countries), and Advanced Grants, with six (6th place in the table of countries). Catalonia holds onto fifth place when adding all four calls together.
In short, the data reveals the important role of Catalan public universities, both in terms of obtaining national and international resources, which shows what a part they play in ensuring that Catalonia is well-positioned in the field of research and innovation activity.