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The new Spanish Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation Carmen Vela takes over for Cristina Garmendia in the new government of Mariano Rajoy. The Secretariat for R&D&i is part of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness —headed by Minister Luis de Guindos— and appears in the organizational chart on the same level as the Secretariat for Economy and Support of Enterprise and the Secretariat for Commerce. Below these are the Secretariat General for Innovation and the Directorate General for Research and Management of the National R&D&i Plan, thus eliminating the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Dr. Carmen Vela was previously Managing Director of animal health company Ingenasa, president of the Spanish Society of Biotechnology (SEBiot) and a member of the Board of Directors of the Spanish Association of Biotechnology Companies (Asebio).

Like the rest of the new members of the Spanish Government, Vela took up her post on 2 January of this year. The numerous challenges she is facing include putting Spanish science in a position of leadership, starting up the Spanish Research Agency and developing the current Science Act, and reactivating the National R&D&i Plan.

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