Fourth edition of Industrial Doctorates Plan includes important new features to boost new research areas

The new call, favouring social sciences, arts and humanities projects, is now open

The 2016 edition also includes a new European type and assists companies in the search for compatible sources of financing

Through the Secretariat for Universities and Research, the Government of Catalonia has launched the Industrial Doctorates Plan 2016 campaign, which incorporates important new features to promote new areas of research following the success of previous editions. One of the most noteworthy new features is the awarding of a maximum of 15 grants for foundations and non-profit associations and organisations linked to the public sector, amongst others. According to the Secretary for Universities and Research, Arcadi Navarro, ‘the aim of these new grants is to bring research and innovation to vital areas for society such as the Social Sciences, the Arts and the Humanities’.

In order to respond to the current reality, in which research is more international and global every day, a new type of industrial doctorate has been introduced whereby research groups in Catalonia can develop projects in collaboration with companies that are not headquartered in Catalonia, but in an other EU country. In addition to the grant, allocated to the research group, funding will also be provided to cover enrolment, the international mobility fund and cross-disciplinary doctorate training.

In order to aid companies' participation in other calls for grants and the search for compatible sources of financing, the present call falls under the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER).

Success of previous editions

Since it started with a pilot plan in 2012, the Industrial Doctorates Plan, now in its fourth edition, has implemented over 240 R&D&I with the collaboration of the public and private Catalan universities working with 176 companies, ranging from start-ups to large companies in a wide variety of fields (including sciences, engineering, health sciences and humanities, among others). The plan has been funded with 34 million euros, two-thirds of which are earmarked for the companies.

The aim of the Industrial Doctorates Plan is to contribute to the competitiveness and internationalisation of Catalan industry, strengthen the tools for recruiting the talent generated in the country and place future PhD holders in the right place to carry out R&D&I projects in a company. The essential element of the industrial doctorate process is the research project carried out at a company, where doctoral students will further develop their research training in collaboration with a university, and which is the object of a doctoral thesis.

The industrial doctorates enable companies to access cutting-edge research groups and use their infrastructure, as well as obtain financial subsidies and benefit from tax deductions and rebates. For universities, the plan facilitates transfer of their technology and knowledge to the productive environment and strengthens links with business. The doctoral students are given the opportunity to receive training in a highly innovative environment with both academic and business supervision, with a three-year work contract and a number of other advantages, such as free matriculation and a mobility fund.

The Plan is managed by the Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR) and the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRI) also collaborates to make it more dynamic. It also has the continued support of the 12 Catalan universities and the business world to promote the transfer of knowledge to the productive sector.


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