Scope of the Spanish Marine Sciences National Programme from 1995 to 2003
Marine Research in Spain was funded mainly by the National Plans of the Ministry of Science and Technology. These have four-year duration and comprise priority research areas addressed by Research and Development Programmes. Marine Sciences has been identified as a Programme since 1995, and forms part of two National Plans. The Programme made annual invitations to tender with the following objectives: global change, ecosystems, sustainable fisheries, coastal zone, pollution and new technologies. Each objective had several sub-objectives. In the first period (1995-1999) Aquaculture was one of the objectives, and it had its own Programme in the second. The 1995-1999 Programme approved 189 projects (47% of the proposals submitted) with a budget of 9.14 M€ and a participation of 550 persons/year. In the 2000-2003 Programme 175 projects were approved (51% of the proposals submitted) corresponding to €12.42 M and 780 persons/year. The universities were the principal actors (58% of the projects), followed by the Science Council (25% of the projects). Catalonia is the region with the greatest participation both in projects and in funding, followed by Galicia and Andalusia. Considering that in the first period there were five invitations to tender and Aquaculture was the main objective (63 projects and €2.26 M), the increase in participation and funding is considerable. This trend is also confirmed by the increase in success rate (approval of proposals rose from 47% in the first invitation to tender to 51% in the second) and the increase in the mean budget per project (from €48.300 to €70.900 respectively).
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