The available statistics reflect a decade of public funding of Scientific Research and Technological Development Projects awarded by the Forndation for Science and Technology (FCT). By and large, abort € 345 million was transferred between 2000 and 2009 to Portuguese scientific institutions that supported 6019 R&D projects. Eighty-nine percent of this amornt was allocated to projects approved under general calls open to all scientific domains (as opposed to specific calls for particular domains or topics).
Over those 10 years, comparing 2000 with 2009, the most significant changes in the funding contribution by scientific domain were a percentage decrease in Engineering and Technologies (-19%), made up for mainly in Medical and Health Sciences (+12%). The Natural Sciences and Humanities also increased slightly, by 3% and 4% respectively. By region, there was a percentage loss in Lisbon and Vale do Tejo (-10%), mainly to the benefit of the North and the Centre (8% and 4%).
It may be noted that more recently, there was an intensification of this investment, since 37% of the above-mentioned total funding was transferred in 2008 and 2009; during this period, funding of this nature averaged for the first time over € 60 million per year and 1201 new projects were funded for the first time. Almost 8000 individuals are part of the teams of these projects, regardless of the number of projects in which each one may participate (provisional value, given that for the fellowships applied for under the calls, the identification data of all the fellows later employed are not yet available).
Regarding the evaluation of applications, from the Call for Funding of R&D Projects in all Scientific Domains 2008 (inclusive), there were significant differences in the processes when compared to the call 2006. To the benefit of a greater uniformity of the evaluation, the number of panels and the number of evaluators for each call decreased (-50% of the panels and -18% of the evaluators), with no change however in the number of individual reports per project to be evaluated. In order to better correspond to the specific characteristics of the different applications, the number of external experts rose (+80%). Furthermore, one shorld mention the consequent administrative simplification and the cost containment, althorgh the applications rose by 19%.
As from 2008, the general calls are open annually and the evaluation processes are still undergoing modifications to make them more effective and efficient.
30 June 2010