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Horta ,  January 15, 2020

Regional Fund for Science and Technology channelled more than 5.7 million Euros to the Azores Scientific and Technological System

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology revealed at the Legislative Assembly in Horta that the impact of funding from the Regional Fund for Science and Technology for projects in the field of science, technology and innovation in recent years corresponds to 5.7 million euros in the Azores Scientific and Technological System.
Gui Menezes stated that the Fund participates in thirty European programmes and projects, leading five of these consortia. In this regard, he highlighted its role as a "driving force in the internationalisation process" of the Azores Scientific and Technological System, "through the efforts of channelling external funding to the Region."
The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology spoke Tuesday during a debate on the proposed amendments to the Regional Legislative Decree that created the Regional Fund for Science and Technology, which was approved.
According to Gui Menezes, this initiative intends to "define the rules on the organisation and functioning" of this body, thus "consolidating the rules dispersed in several legal documents in a single legal body" and endow it with "an adequate structure for the pursuit of its duties and competences."
For the government official, the goal is to "optimise the coordination and management of the financial resources" of this Regional Fund, aimed at the fields of science and technology, within the Regional Government's public policies as well as "to update its functions and establish its organisational structure so that it has a structure appropriate to its competences."
This Regional Fund is currently staffed by 19 people. Among them, four are members of the Regional Directorate for Science and Technology's staff, one was recruited under a work contract of unspecified duration and 14 were recruited under the Science Management Grants.
"We want to stabilise the staff and endow that body with greater autonomy," said Gui Menezes.
According to the government official, the legal document "will ensure the pursuit of the Regional Fund's goals." This is particularly relevant "when a new Community Support Framework for Science and Technology, Horizon Europe, will come into force in the near future to optimise our ability to attract technical and financial resources for the fields of science and technology, thus contributing to the Region's development."
Questioned by the members of the Regional Assembly, Gui Menezes assured that the Regional Fund "does not compete with research centres."
"The Fund does not make science, the Fund manages science and attracts funding," noted the government official.
Gui Menezes also stated that this Regional Fund "is essential as a management unit for types of projects that are of interest to public policies," providing clarifications on the Fund's participation in science, technology and innovation projects.
In his speech, the Regional Secretary stressed that the integration of the Regional Fund in international consortia is "a factor of success" inasmuch as it has allowed us to "follow the thematic agendas and 'working groups' that are relevant to the Azores, such as the sea, biodiversity, earth observation, energy, agriculture, or responsible research, and innovation and smart specialisation.
In this regard, he highlighted the Atlantic Project Award awarded in 2017 to the Regional Fund in the "Protection, Security and Improvement of the Coastal Marine Environment" category for the work carried out within the European MISTIC'SEAS project in conjunction with the Regional Directorate for Sea Affairs.
The Regional Secretary also highlighted the role of the Regional Fund "in supporting and monitoring the preparation of applications for scientific projects" as "point of contact between various science promoters" and as "funding source of advanced training grants."
Currently, the Regional Fund finances 24 doctoral grants, 12 post-doctoral and six post-doctoral grants in business context, both in the fields of the RIS3 Açores and in other relevant areas, such as biodiversity and environment, biotechnology, history, art and architecture, and health.
"It is through the Regional Fund that the Regional Government has established several cooperation agreements to promote advanced training in the Region," said Gui Menezes.



Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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