Definitively approved the reform of the Science Law

The Science Law reform passed by Congress protects stable and growing public funding for R&D with a goal of reaching 1.25% of GDP in 2030 —and 3% along with private investment—, according to the Science and Innovation Pact. .

Among the measures applied in relation to the scientific and technical career In the field of R&D&I, the reform includes a new type of contract for an indefinite period linked to the development of technical-scientific activities for all types of research staff within the scope of defined research lines and in R&D+I contracts.

This contract for an indefinite period, whose application was anticipated by Royal Decree-Law, includes the singularities of the R+D+I system and is not subject to public employment offer limits or replacement rates.

This contract for an indefinite period is not subject to the limits of the public offer of employment, nor to replacement fees.

Likewise, the text establishes a new postdoctoral itinerary which aims to reduce the age of entry into the system and facilitate stable incorporation into it. Specifically, it designs a new contract of up to six years, with an intermediate evaluation that implies promotion and a final evaluation, which allows obtaining the new R3 certificate.

This certificate will facilitate consolidate a permanent position because part of the entrance exams are exempt and because at least 25% of vacancies are reserved in public research organizations and 15% in universities.

The law reform also guarantees new labor rights to young researchers in our country, such as compensation for completing pre-doctoral and post-doctoral contracts.

Talent attraction and professional mobility

The text also includes facilities for hiring foreign personnel and the possibility of dual assignment in our country and abroad. In addition, the five-year terms of the research team at the Public Research Organizations (OPIS) will evaluate and recognize for the first time all the merits of research carried out previously in the public sector and in any university, both in Spain and abroad. Until now, the five-year period only recognized our country’s experience in OPIS.

Likewise, the regulation redefines the distinguished researcher contract to attract prestigious scientific personnel to Spain.

OPIS will assess and recognize all merits of research carried out previously in the public sector and in any university, both in Spain and abroad.

On the other hand, with regard to the technical staff of OPIS, it also includes the possibility of professional mobility, temporary stays for training or collaboration in technological companies.

Autonomous Communities will be responsible for incorporating specific categories of health researcher in their statutory staff and develop their professional career in the same way as the rest of the research staff.

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Administrative procedures and knowledge transfer

Another axis of the reform aims to reduce the administrative burden of the R&D&I sector. For example, in terms of public subsidiesthe text introduces measures to facilitate both the procedure for granting aid and the procedure for justification by the beneficiaries.

The standard also aims to reinforce the knowledge transfer, one of the shortcomings of the Spanish R+D+i system, through new mechanisms. One of them is the recognition of the six-year transfer period to stimulate the direct transfer of knowledge and innovation generated in the public sector to companies and society.

The six-year transfer period is recognized to encourage the direct transfer of knowledge and innovation

Other mechanisms included are the development of public purchase of innovation and permission for public administrations to invest and co-invest in commercial enterprises, as the most advanced countries do, where the public sector is an entrepreneurial agent that invests and stimulates private investment in R&D&I.

The reform of the law also contemplates the creation of the Spanish Space Agencywith a component dedicated to National Security, to direct the effort in space matters, efficiently coordinate the different national organizations with responsibilities in the space sector and unify international collaboration and coordination.

Gender equality

In terms of equality, the Law seeks to resolve the main gender inequalities that persist in the field of R&D&I. To do this, he will first give legal certainty to gender equality in the Science, Technology and Innovation System, ensuring a dual approach, where the gender perspective is the transversal axis of the planning instruments of public agents in science, technology and innovation in the implementation of specific actions.

Thus, public agents must have and evaluate annually a gender equality plan and have protocols against sexual harassment and harassment based on gender or sexual orientation.

Public agents must have and annually evaluate a gender equality plan and have protocols against sexual harassment

It is also planned to create a gender equality badge in R&D&I for centers that certify that they meet criteria of excellence in this area, in addition to the obligation to implement measures to eliminate gender bias and integrate the gender dimension in R&D&I projects.

In this sense, equality will also be guaranteed in selection and evaluation processes for those who reconcile and promote positive action measures. Furthermore, the fundamental role of scientific divulgation and education to promote sociocultural change and foster co-responsibility.

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