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The Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP) has presented its 2015 Report on Research and Innovation Indicators showing the global and European impact of Catalan public universities in terms of scientific production, measured by publication average. Despite shedding light on below-average R&D funding, publication levels are on par with countries like Belgium, Luxemburg and Great Britain.

Scientific production, measured by the average number of publications per full-time researcher, has evolved positively: 1.18 publications in 2012 to 1.33 in 2014, half a point above Spanish public centers, where the average is 0.79. This data shows the Catalan system to be highly efficient despite lower investment in R&D (in terms of GDP, research investment in Catalonia is 1.47% while the EU average is 2.03%).

Regarding public funding for research, the report concludes that after the downward trend in the years of the economic recession hit rock bottom in 2013, both for competitive and non-competitive funds, preliminary advance data points to an increase of 37% in competitive funds and 10.5% in non-competitive funds from 2013 to 2014. Competitive funding continues to be the main source of income, making up 65% of the total versus 35% from non-competitive funds. Under the European Commission’s 7th Framework Program (2007-2013) Catalonia saw €846 millions, 40% of which went to Catalan universities. The campuses that attracted the most European funding were Pompeu Fabra University, the University of Barcelona and the Polytechnic University.

“We’re now reaping the rewards of years of investment and hard work that have given us (positive) inertia in terms of research regardless of the current lack of R&D,” explained Enric Fossas, president of ACUP and rector of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, who presented the report at the UB historical building alongside Ferran Sancho, rector of the Autonomous University of Barcelona; and Josep M. Martorell, director general for Research for the Government of Catalonia.

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