Spain through the looking glass

Science spending dries up

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Spain’s peak scientific research body, the CSIC, has announced spending cuts of €130 million dollars over the next three years as it fights to deal with funding shortfalls.

Speaking to Europapress yesterday, Emilio Lora-Tomayo, the head of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), said the cuts were necessary to ensure the institution was self-sustainable into the future.

The science chief said the body planned to save €50 million next year and then make up the other €100 million of its €147-million deficit by stimulating interest among businesses in funding for projects. He also touted plans to raise revenue by increasing sales of patents and books.

In what could be taken as a sign of desperation, Lora-Tomayo also called on the nearly 130 centres affiliated with the research agency to brainstorm ideas to raise some much-needed cash.

The CSIC has already stopped hiring new researchers as well as shutting down its key JAE (Junta para la Ampliación de Estudios) training programme as it struggles to deal with dwindling funds.

Described by La Vanguardia as ‘a giant with feet of clay’ and ‘a dinosaur after the asteroid’, the important research organisation has seen funding inflows plummet by almost a third since 2009.

There are 125 CSIC centres around Spain and the agency has 14,000 staff on its books. It is responsible for some 20 per cent of scientific activity undertaken in the country.

Spending on technological innovation in Spain fell 8.8 per cent last year, according to a report released this week by the the country’s stats office, the INE.


Written by georgemills25

November 30, 2012 at 12:25

Posted in Uncategorized

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