BARCELONA, SPAIN—The Spanish government has finally made good on its promise to create a national science funding agency. On Friday, it announced the launch of the State Research Agency, which could start disbursing grants as early as 2017.
The agency doesn't come with new money—instead it will usurp existing research budgets—but it will guarantee more stability in the funding stream and “more agile, flexible, and autonomous” management procedures, the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, which oversees Spanish science, wrote in its announcement.
Scientists are cautiously optimistic, but many have questions. Few operational details have been provided so far, and there are doubts about the scientific independence of the agency’s management. Some researchers also wonder about the future of the agency if the ruling People’s Party (PP) loses the parliamentary elections, slated for 20 December.