News Picks : New Spanish science funding agency receives mixed reception
Science: On 27 November the Spanish government announced the launch of the State Research Agency, which will oversee the country's scientific funding and will begin issuing grants as soon as 2017. The agency's initial funding will be taken from existing research budgets in an effort to stabilize and streamline the funding process. However, little has yet been disclosed about the agency's planned operations, and although it is intended to be an autonomous body, there are concerns that the agency will not be granted the desired level of independence. The governing council will have only 4 scientists, and the 10 other seats will be occupied by representatives of other ministries and trade unions. The agency itself will still be within the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, which has been overseeing the current funding system. Questions remain about the stability of the available funding because the government approves the science budget on a yearly basis, a system which the new agency will not be able to change.