Through the graphs under FCT – Investimento no Sistema Científico e Tecnológico Nacional it is intended to allow an immediate overview of the evolution and characteristics of the diverse funding resulting from the activities of Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), in recent years, making available four different perspectives(1).
The terms funding and investment are used as synonyms and refer to actual expenses (not budget).
First, we consider a national approach.
Graph I is focused on the action of FCT as a contribution for the development of the National Scientific and Technological System (SCTN). It is noticeable, that after a decrease from 2001 to 2003, the investment through FCT has increased in absolute terms and, up to 2007, also in relative terms in the context of public expense on R&D. corresponding annual average growth rate from 2001 to 2010 was 11,5%, the increase between those two years corresponding to a 2,7 factor. We recall that between 1997 and 2001 the FCT investment through SCTN had already doubled.
Secondly, in an institutional framework approach, the same investments are compared with the total of FCT expenses. Graph II displays the difference in growth rate between FCT funding of the SCTN and FCT management expenses. From 2001 to 2010, management expenses had an average annual growth rate of 9%.
Thirdly, we focus attention in the global funding structure. In 2010, at least 70% of funding targets grants at advanced level (35%), pluriannual funding of R&D Units and Associate Laboratories (18%), and R&D projects (17%); in 2005, 84%. If the investment in the SCTN through FCT duplicated, from 2005 to 2010, that not meant a quantitative leap, but also a modification of the funding structure and a diversification of the FCT funding instruments.
Nevertheless, not all this funding in R&D is transferred to the individuals or institutions. For instance, there are always expenses created by the evaluation processes using peer review, given that FCT support has been and is attributed in a competitive context.
Graph IV is meant to identify the volume of funding actually transferred to the SCTN, by main scientific areas, in what concerns funding of Advanced Development of Human Resources, Pluriannual Funding of institutions, R&D projects and Scientific Community Support Fund (FACC). Engineering Sciences and Technologies received 26% of funding. Areas such as Exact, Natural, Medical and Health, and Social Sciences absorbed 60% of total funding, each area amounting to about 15%. At last, Humanities with 9% and Agricultural Sciences with 5%.
Funding time series synthesized in this graph are analysed in detail elsewhere in the FCT site.
Note: Between graphs III and IV there might be noticeable discrepancies due to differences in the way funding is aggregated. For instance, in the case of Advanced Fellowships, the value identified in graph IV is the amount of expenses planned in one year, independently of the year when they are paid; this contrasts with Graph III where amounts paid in one given year were actually considered.