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The call for applications was opened yesterday for grants aimed at promoting projects and activities that provide added value to research and technology (VALOR 2010, formerly VALTEC). Research groups in universities and technology or research centres in Catalonia can submit their applications until 22 July. These grants are provided by AGAUR, the Catalan University and Research Grants Management Agency.

The projects must involve demonstrative R&D activities that are being developed at a pre-competitive stage and that can reduce uncertainties concerning the technology’s commercial viability. These proof-of-concept activities do not provide support for exploratory research in itself or for useful applied research for companies, rather they support the execution of related scientific and technological activities, in the form of a structured project, which define and implement commercialisation strategies and results transfer.

One of the main requirements for application is that applicant groups must own or co-own the knowledge, technology and outcome of the research to which they wish to add value.

Each project, which must be developed over a maximum two-year period, can receive a grant of up to 100,000 euros. Priority will be given to those projects from centres belonging to the TECNIO network, centres in the CERCA programme, research institutes linked to hospitals, important R&D&I networks, and to proposals from other agents within the research system that incorporate researchers from these centres.

Catalonia has a broad network of research centres, some of which are world leaders, including 38 CERCA centres, of which eleven in the area of biomedicine, 15 centres that are part of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and 8 technology centres. In addition, there are seventeen science and technology parks, nine of which are dedicated to life sciences. Of the thirteen hospitals carrying out research activities, six are among the ten most prolific research hospitals in Spain in terms of scientific production, as indicated in the Biocat Report 2009.

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