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Ponta Delgada ,  March 21, 2019

Regional Government signs two new programme contracts with University of the Azores to secure funding for research projects

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology stated in Ponta Delgada that the Azorean Government is "confident about the future" of the University of the Azores and that, in this context, "restates its commitment to support one of the most important institutions of the Region," through two new programme contracts.
Gui Menezes spoke at the signing ceremony of two programme contracts with the University of the Azores and the Gaspar Frutuoso Foundation. They are intended to finance 15% of the amount awarded to research projects to be approved under the Azores Operational Programme as well as to finance 15% of the amount granted to research projects to be approved under the second call of the INTERREG-MAC 2014-2020 programme.
"This is another contribution of the Regional Government to the science produced in the Region as well as to the support of the research centres of the University of the Azores," said the government official.
One of the programme contracts falls within the call for the allocations of funds to research projects under the Smart Specialisation Strategy of the Region (RIS3), which provides an overall amount of 3.3 million Euros. It will finance 24 projects conducted by the University of the Azores and IMAR - Institute of Marine Research as well as the recruitment of a doctorate researcher per project and for a 24-month period, "thus contributing to the promotion of scientific employment in the Azores."
Additionally, the other programme contract signed today will allow the University, the Gaspar Frutuoso Foundation, IMAR, OTA - Azores Tourism Observatory and the Afonso Chaves Society "to receive, collectively, more than 3.3 million Euros from the regional co-financing in the amount of 500 thousand Euros," stressed the Regional Secretary.
With the implementation of the programme contract to finance 15% of the amount for projects to be approved under the second call of the INTERREG-MAC 2014-2020 programme, the Regional Government "anticipates the funding for the University, through an estimated amount of 120 thousand Euros to be distributed by various projects for a three-year period."
According to Gui Meneses, the results of this call will be publicly announced by the common secretariat, headquartered in the Canaries, "between the end of the first semester and the beginning of the second semesters." Nevertheless, he stated that "today we are giving a full guarantee the University of the Azores, including the Gaspar Frutuoso Foundation, that the Regional Government will maintain the strategy towards the expansion of the networks of the research teams that are part of the Azores Scientific and Technological System.
The Secretary for Science considered INTERREG-MAC "a privileged tool, but not unique, to promote the focus on the internationalisation" of regional science.
"With this financing, we expect to add another six projects to the six projects already in progress, representing a financial allocation of more than 1.5 million Euros," said the government official.
Regarding the Plan for the Internationalisation of Science and Technology, created by the Government, the Regional Government recalled the launch of a line of funding in November last year for the units of the Azores Science and Technology System with an overall budget of 600 thousand Euros. Moreover, he announced that a "similar” line of funding will be launched next week for regional companies, "an investment of half a million Euros."
Speaking to journalists, Gui Menezes stressed that the programme contracts signed today "intend to reimburse 15% of the amount that the University would have to pay in order to implement these research projects."
One of the programme contracts "arises from the applications submitted by researchers; a series of projects were selected and approved among these competitive applications," stated the government official. As he noted, "the process has been completed to move forward with its implementation."
In turn, the other programme contract follows "the development of projects whose applications were submitted by researchers from the University of the Azores and other institutions under the INTERREG MAC programme," the Regional Secretary said, adding that there are about 18 projects "under consideration."
"The reimbursement of these projects is mandatory," said the government official.
According to Gui Menezes, "a modern, evolved and progressive society cannot exist without science" as far as "science and knowledge are fundamental to development."
"Hence, there has been a significant investment in science on the part of the Azores as well as on the part of Portugal and other countries in order to achieve a more developed society and economy with more jobs and increased wealth," said the Regional Government.


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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