At the 2019 National Research Awards ceremony, the Minister of the Presidency and spokesperson for the Government Meritxell Budó wants Catalonia to be leader in research. “We ought to move all towards the same direction: working together to consolidate Catalonia as one of the scientific hubs in Southern Europe" said the Minister, and added that "we want a country that walks towards excellence, avant-garde and that is firmly committed to research and innovation”, an “essential” tool to guarantee the progress of the society.
Budó regretted having to preside over the event instead of President Torra who, she said, is "disqualified by a sentence that is a direct attack on the rights and freedoms of our country", a complaint also made by Minister Tremosa. In her closing speech, the Minister of the Presidency highlighted two of the goals shared by the Government and the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation: the dissemination of science among young people and women. "The Government wants to support training for scientists from a critical perspective, scientists with the ability to adapt to a world of constant change", she said, referring to the STEMCat program for young people, and she also placed on the table the need to give visibility to women in science. "We need more women doing science, being part of business innovation departments or running research centres and university chairs", she concluded.
The Minister of Business and Knowledge, and President of the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRI) Ramon Tremosa expressed "deep gratitude" to all the winners and stated that "the future is complex and difficult but the hope we have lies partly on science and today we are carrying out this event to reward it and recognize its role in society”.
Tremosa also stressed that "in the unusual times" we are living it is time to comply with the agreements included in the National Pact for the Knowledge Society (PN@SC) to increase the budget for research, development and innovation. “R&D&I needs more funding in order to continue producing excellence”, said Tremosa, who reminded some of the international positioning figures regarding the Catalan research system, such as the obtention of 1,270 M€ in 2,205 projects from the European Program Horizon 2020 (H2020) or the positioning of Barcelona as the eighth European city in scientific production.