The Spanish Science, Technology and Innovation System (SECTI) has achieved standards of research excellence that are clearly aligned with Spain's economic and geopolitical position on the international scene, especially in terms of scientific publications and participation in international programmes. However, it is necessary to strengthen it and to reinforce the effectiveness and efficiency of research and innovation policies and their agents, by strengthening the capacities, infrastructures and equipment of its agents.
In order to strengthen the SECTI, competitive calls for grants will be launched:
- Calls for applications for grants to boost SECTI's internationalisation capabilities
- Calls for grants for the provision, improvement and updating of scientific and technical equipment for R&D system agents, with the aim of facilitating quality research and promoting the development of highly competitive R&D activities, thus contributing to regional development.
In addition, the following specific projects are also planned:
- To improve the efficiency of the Ministry's calls for proposals, new management software will be developed and implemented to facilitate interaction between the State Research Agency (AEI), beneficiaries, other funding agencies and other Ministries.
- Improvement of specific infrastructures in the public research bodies attached to the Ministry, such as the Centre for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research (CIEMAT, so that it evolves from a nuclear facility to a centre oriented towards new energies) and in the INIA.
- Improvement of specific capabilities: at the Instituto Astrofísico de Canarias there is a need to improve and increase capabilities in state-of-the-art technologies for astrophysical instrumentation and in advanced optical technologies, as well as the development of an advanced optics centre.
On the other hand, the strengthening of SECTI involves the optimisation and internationalisation of Spanish infrastructures and greater use of and participation in international infrastructures. Investments in scientific infrastructures are strategic to boost Europe's capacity to support innovation, technological advances and its global competitiveness and specific research projects will be funded in these Spanish and international research infrastructures. In the case of national infrastructures, funding will be provided for actions carried out by entities with the joint participation of the National Government and the Autonomous Regions, and also for infrastructures included in the Map of Singular Scientific and Technical Infrastructures. Thus, funding is envisaged for actions envisaged in the strategic plans of the Singular Scientific and Technical Infrastructures (ICTS), within the framework of the actions of the ICTS Map through bilateral collaborations with the Autonomous Regions with joint funding, and also the funding of activities related to GIC (Large Scientific Infrastructures) based in Spain, in particular those included in the roadmap of the European Research Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). The update of the ICTS map for the period 2021-2024, and with it the update of the Strategic Plan of each ICTS, will mean that in 2022 a call will be published to finance, from among these investments, those that best contribute to the objectives of the Resilience and Recovery Mechanism.