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REIs covered in this report

The questionnaire was drawn up by the OECD Science and Technology Policy Division Secretariat and project steering group.4 Delegates to the OECD Research Institutions and Human Resources (RIHR) working group distributed them to the appropriate expert(s) in their respective countries. Answers were received from 20 countries (Australia, Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey and the United States), as well as six German Lander (federal states), which described regional funding schemes run in parallel with Germany’s national REI.

The questionnaire also included a free-text category for countries that have considered or were considering introducing an REI. Turkey was the only country answering in this category. The responsible ministry is considering introducing a special funding programme for excellent research institutions in the areas of natural sciences, technology and engineering, based on experience in other countries.

Turkey aside, 56 different funding schemes were reported. However, not all reported funding schemes fulfilled the criteria that would identify them as REIs. Finally, 28 schemes from 18 countries (17 OECD countries and the Russian Federation) were classified as REIs. These 28 schemes represent the descriptive basis of the present chapter. All generalisations about REIs and statements regarding proportional shares in this study must be understood as confined to these REIs. A list of schemes that were reported but excluded is given in Annex 2.A1, with the reasons for exclusion.

Table 2.1 lists the 28 REIs discussed. The third column lists official acronyms (if they exist). If official acronyms exist, they are used in the text. The fourth column specifies the year in which funding through the REI started, and the fifth column states the maximum funding period for an individual research unit per funding cycle (the option of applying repeatedly in different cycles is not considered).

Table 2.1. Overview of REIs in responding countries

Country

Name of REI

Official acronym/ short form

Start date

Maximum funding period for individual research unit

Australia

ARC Centres of Excellence

2003

7 years

Austria

Competence Centres for Excellent Technologies

COMET

2008

K1: 7 years K2: 10 years1

Denmark

Investment Capital for University Research

UNIK

2009

5 years

Estonia

Development of Centres of Excellence in Research

2001

7 years

Finland

Centres of Excellence (2008-13)

CoE

1995

6 years

Germany

Excellence Initiative (Programme of the German Federal and State Governments to Promote Top- level Research at Universities)

2006

5 years

Germany-Hesse

State Initiative for the Development of Scientific and Economic Excellence

LOEWE

2008

6 years

Germany-Saxony-

Anhalt

Networks of scientific excellence

2005

5 years

Germany-Thuringia

Thuringian Agenda for Supporting Excellent Research “ProExcellence”

ProExcellence

2008

5 years

Ireland

Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions Centres for Science, Engineering and Technology

PRTLI

CSET

  • 1998
  • 2003

6 years 10 years

Table 2.1. Overview of REIs in responding countries (continued)

Country

Name of REI

Official acronym/ short form

Start date

Maximum funding period for individual

research unit

Global Centres of Excellence Programme

Global COE

2007

5 years

Japan

World Premier International Research Centre Initiative

WPI

2007

15 years

Brain Korea 21 Programme

BK 21

1999

7 years

Korea

World Class University Programme

WCU

2009

5 years

Netherlands

Bonus Incentive Scheme

BIS

1998

No maximum set (will change in future)

New Zealand

New Zealand Centres of Research Excellence

CoRE

2002

6 years

Norwegian Centres of Excellence

CoE (SFF)

2002

10 years

Norway

Centres for Research-based Innovation

CRI (SFI)

2007

8 years

Centres for environment-friendly energy research

CEER (FME)

2009

8 years

Poland

Leading National Scientific Centres

KNOW

2012

5 years

Portugal

Multi-Year Funding Programme

1996

5 years

Russian Federation

National Research University initiative

NRU

2008

10 years

Slovenia

Centres of Excellence

2009

4 years

Strategic Research Areas

SRA

2010

5 years

Sweden

Linnaeus Grants

2006

10 years

Berzelii Centres

2006

10 years

United States

Science and Technology Centres

STC

1989

5 years

Note: 1. The COMET scheme is divided into funding lines; line “Kl” has a slightly different structure than line “K2”.

Source: OECD/RIHR questionnaire to government ministries, Q1.1: What is the organisational structure of REIs in your country? Q1.2: When were REIs first implemented in your country (i.e. received funding)?

It should be emphasised that this study does not claim to provide an exhaustive account of all REIs in OECD countries. Several countries have REIs that were discussed by the RIHR Working Party but are not included because they did not respond to the survey. They are:

  • • Canada: Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC), 2010
  • • Denmark: Centres of Excellence (CoE), a programme run by the Danish National Research Foundation, 1993; Strategic Research Centres, administered by the Danish Council for Strategic Research, 2006; and Strategic Platforms for Innovation and Research (SPIR), a programme managed by the Danish Council for Strategic Research and the Danish Council for Technology and Innovation, 2010
  • • France: Initiatives d’excellence (“Excellence Initiatives”), one of several branches of the broad national programme Investissements d’Avenir (“Future Investments”), 2009
  • • Luxembourg: Programme Excellence Award for Research in Luxembourg (PEARL) 2009, Opportunities for Outstanding Young Researchers in Luxembourg (ATTRACT) 2007
  • • Spain: Severo Ochoa Centres of Excellence, 2011.
 
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