Spain's Science Budget Holds Steady

A 2010 national budget plan (in Spanish) was given to Spain’s Parliament yesterday and funding levels for the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation are staying more or less the same as last year’s levels, despite the economic crisis.

The budget plan would effectively cut internal funding for the ministry by €93 million and reduce the government money that Spanish national research centers receive to cover their expenses by €274 million.

On the other hand, substantially more money would be spent on scientific research and human resources than in 2009. In particular, the 2010 budget allocates €136 million to competitive calls for research projects, compared with €108 million in 2009 (representing a 26% increase). Government money for Ph.D. scholarships and permanent contracts for researchers would also increase by 11% and 6.7%, respectively. The amount of money the government would also offer companies in partially-repayable loans to support industrial R&D would increase by more than 30%, and government support for the employment of researchers in industry would increase by 10%.

In recent years, Spain has pledged to move away from a construction-based to a knowledge-based economy. The science budget "will reflect for the 5th year in a row the government's commitment to research, development, and technological innovation, and, in particular, the importance of science and innovation in the change of economic model," Spanish science and innovation minister Cristina Garmendia recently declared.