Spain obtained more than 1.100M euros in direct assistance to finance R&D activities between 2014 and 2015.

The initial results have just been announced for Horizons 2020 (H2020), the biggest EU research and innovation programme, which plans to invest 80,000M euros (yes, you read correctly) over the course of seven years.

There is no way around it: the results for Spain are very good. We are the fourth biggest recipient of funds, and the percentage of the financial returns increased from 8.3 to 9.7% of the total. This translates into more than 1.1M euros in direct financial assistance to finance R&D activities in Spain between 2014-2015 alone.

At the regional level, the results are also positive: 71 activities approved in the first two years of Horizons 2020 included the participation of entities from the region of Castile and Leon (universities, businesses, association, etc.), 21 of which were coordinated from our region. All in all, the volume of investment that we have obtained exceeds 30M euros, positioning us sixth at a national level, behind Catalonia, Madrid, Basque Country, Valencia and Andalusia.

At the university level, we have been promoting the participation of our research groups in H2020 for quite some time. Competition is stiff as rival projects hail not only from the EU, but from other countries which have joined the programme and contribute to its financing. In fact, the rate of those who receive support is quite low, at an average 12%. However, the amounts received compensate the undeniably exhausting work involved in the presentation, management and accountability.

Research with our sights set on Brussels

Research with our sights set on Brussels

Spanish universities receive 20% of the money received by Spain, and in the case of Castile and Leon, this percentage nearly reaches 24%. This is good news and a sign that the situation is not nearly as dire as it would appear in some of the rankings and classifications published recently. Furthermore, the research groups in our universities have already become used to it. Between 2013 and 2015 requests for aid from European programmes at the University of Salamanca have increased five-fold, leading to a significant increase in the number of projects in which we are currently working.

The H2020 projects are carried out in the form of consortia in which various organisations, including enterprises, participate. In fact, they are the greatest recipients of assistance in net terms. In the case of Spain, 39% of the funds received (35% in Castile and Leon). And the areas receiving the greatest amount of resources from H2020 include innovation in SMEs, nanotechnology, energy and ICT.

At a local level, for assistance at a smaller scale than that of R&D, the European approach is key for everybody involved: universities, enterprises, administrations, technology centres and research centres. By working together we join forces to receive more resources and initiate projects that are more and more ambitious. And that’s exactly what we are doing.


Research with our sights set on Brussels

Article published in El Mundo 

Posted by Juan M. Corchado

Juan Manuel Corchado (15 de Mayo de 1971, Salamanca, España) Catedrático en la Universidad de Salamanca. Ha sido Vicerrector de Investigación desde el 2013 hasta el 2017 y Director del Parque Científico de la Universidad de Salamanca. Elegido dos veces como Decano de la Facultad de Ciencias, es Doctor en Ciencias de la Computación por la Universidad de Salamanca y, además, es Doctor en Inteligencia Artificial por la University of the West of Scotland. Dirige el Grupo de Investigación Reconocido BISITE (Bioinformática, Sistemas Inteligentes y Tecnología Educativa), creado en el año 2000. Director del IOT Digital Innovation Hub y presidente del AIR Institute, J. M. Corchado también es Profesor Visitante en el Instituto Tecnológico de Osaka desde enero de 2015, Profesor visitante en la Universiti Malaysia Kelantan y Miembro del Advisory Group on Online Terrorist Propaganda of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (EUROPOL). J. M. Corchado ha sido presidente de la asociación IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics, y coordinador académico del Instituto Universitario de Investigación en Arte y Tecnología de la Animación de la Universidad de Salamanca e investigador en las Universidades de Paisley (UK), Vigo (Spain) y en el Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK). En la actualidad compagina toda su actividad con la dirección de los programas de Máster en Seguridad, Animación Digital, Telefonía Movil, Dirección de Sistemas de Información, Internet de las Cosas, Social Media, Diseño e Impresión 3D, Blockchain, Z System, Industria 4.0, Gestión de Proyectos Ágiles y Smart Cities & Intelligent Buildings​, en la Universidad de Salamanca y su trabajo como editor jefe de las revistas ADCAIJ (Advances in Distributed Computing and Artificial Intelligence Journal), OJCST (Oriental Journal of Computer Science and Technology) o Electronics MDPI (Computer Science & Engineering section). J. M. Corchado desarrolla principalmente trabajos en proyectos relacionados con Inteligencia Artificial, Machine Learning, Blockchain, IoT, Fog Computing, Edge Computing, Smart Cities, Smart Grids y Análisis de sentimiento.

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