Juan M. Vázquez, and José Manuel Torralba Updated: Save Send news by mail electrónicoTu name *

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The 9th of July the president of the Government presented the shock Plan for Science and Innovation, an initiative –as reflected in the text– to “energize an urgent basis, the system of public and private R+D+I after more than a decade of being relegated and research system innovation to suffer the consequences of the cuts and the absence of political reforms”.

Although it has been talked about in the last weeks of this government action, little has been deepened in the measures. Specifically, the plan establishes three axes and seventeen steps with an additional investment about the role of 1.000 million euros of additional funding for this year and next. On the paper is good, but does not carry practically nothing new. The plan presented by Sanchez is composed primarily by a battery of measures proposed and budgeted for in the past, even by previous Governments, only adorned by a new role of gift, not covering absolutely nothing new.

Some examples of the shock plan: Call Lifewatch, by 51 M€ of the operational programme plurirregional of Spain ERDF 2014-2020, which is sourced from 2016, with a geographical scope of actions in Andalusia. Or the new Ocean-going Vessel Multi-purpose of the IEO, with 85 M€ of budget, the ERDF cofinancing of 68’3 M€ approved by the European Commission since last December after a serious work carried out by the directorate of the IEO from 2017. By the way, this project was scheduled to licitarse the first half of 2020 and now what happens is that it appears in this Plan of Shock.

Also, the plan includes actions associated with the pandemic COVID19 and convened in the past months, or a slight increase of some of the aid of the State Plan of I+D+i, with effect from 2017. In short, nothing new of importance to the Spanish system of science, technology and innovation!, as has been already warned prominent members of the scientific community of spain.

do you Need Spain a plan to boost R+D+i? Without a doubt, the answer is yes. What I needed Spain ads opportunists of a plan, more of the “performance” that performative virtually without content, this novel seems more like a list of items from a quick query into the Ministry? Well, the answer is no.

What is expected of a Plan of Shock with this preamble? Among others, a Royal Decree Law (RDL) of urgent action and extraordinary to the science, technology and innovation with the necessary legislative amendments to simplify and facilitate the management of R+D+i. Certain that it has the support of the majority of the parliamentary spectrum, as already happened last year with the failed and confused in its contents RDL proposed by the Government. Would even slow down the absorption from the CSIC of OPIs as the IEO, the IGME or the INIA under the excuse of facilitating the management of these agencies. Approve already by 2020, a credit for extraordinary science and that allow to alleviate, among others, the effects that the COVID19 has had on the research groups or the innovative companies, especially by taking from the government that the researchers were not essential, and hinder the development of their projects. Or take advantage of the flexibility that the EU has given about the funds not executed of the cohesion policy, from the period 2013-2020, and, according to the report of the european semester Spain alone has justified 12.900 M€ at the end of 2019 for a 42,500 M€ allocated for the period, linking part of them to the path of spending programs of I+D+i.

Spain needs a real shock plan for science and innovation. The evidence resulting from the analysis of the submitted by the Government deducted the lack of content and budget novel and the result of which you can not expect more than disappointment, as happened after the roar of the mountains, and the birth of a small mouse, as he told us about Aesop and his fable.

we’re on time!

John M. Vazquez is the Spokesman of Science, of the Popular Group in the Senate, and Professor of the University of Murcia, and José Manuel Torralba Professor of the University Carlos III of Madrid.

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