FOCUS ON WATER RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

Water Beyond Europe II

in SpainSpain

There is not a specific programme for water RDI, but water issues are funded through the State Plan for Research, Development and Innovation. Other Programmes related to Innovation, applied research or International activities devote additional funds to water issues. The National Plan has always represented the major opportunity for RTD funding at the national level, although in the last 20 years the research funding capacity of the regional governments has increased.

The Spanish Ministry for Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) is the main governmental funding body for research and innovation, as it owns and manages the “State Plan for Research, Development and Innovation” to promote high-quality scientific research, training and career development in science and technology, supports centres of excellence, research infrastructures, technology transfer, innovation and science dissemination.

With a total budget for RDI activities of 430 M€ in 2013, the mission of the Directorate General for Scientific and Technological Research of MINECO is to coordinate and finance high-quality research in the full spectrum of scientific and technological disciplines and support researchers’ training and research carriers, as well as research infrastructures. This Directorate General also promotes the internationalization of Spanish research through a number of bilateral and multilateral programmes. Directorate General for Innovation and the public Innovation Agency CDTI are responsible for the promotion of technology development and innovation in the private sector, public-private partnerships, technology transfer, and large national infrastructures..

MINECO supports basic, strategic and applied research on water science and technology through annual competitive bottom-up calls. These calls will be coordinated with the co-funded EC calls and with other joint calls of the Water JPI.

Regional governments within Spain have a significant capacity to fund research and innovation. In the last years a number of regional research funding programmes have evolved to provide basal funding to outstanding research groups or institutes.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA) is responsible for water policy, plans and programmes devoted to water resources evaluation and planning, water quality, sustainable irrigation management, floods, and related issues in the context of the Water Framework Directive. MAGRAMA’s capacity to fund research and innovation has been traditionally smaller than that of MINECO.