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Portuguese centres of excellence

A considerable share of public research in Portugal takes place in research centres supported by the FCT. The centres are closely linked with higher education institutions because they are part of them and mobilise their personnel and resources.

Distribution by size

Portugal has 84 CoEs, which represent 26% of the 318 R&D units (i.e. research centres and ALs) funded by the programme. Some CoEs, alone or in combination with others, have the status of AL. The 26 ALs have significant critical mass and excellent quality in specific themes or fields of science.

In terms of size, the ALs are on average larger than the other CoEs. The largest AL has over 300 FTE research staff and the smallest fewer than 50. The CoEs that are not ALs have 44 researchers on average, but may have as few as 8 FTE researchers (Table 9.1).

Table 9.1. Researchers (FTE) by type of institutions funded by FCT, 2010

Typology

Mean

Minimum value

Maximum value

a

CoEs (not AL)

44

8

108

24

AL

148

48

312

77

Source: Foundation for Science and Technology internal data, multi-year funding programme.

The goal of excellence has received increased attention through the promotion of ALs, for which FCT funding increased between 2003 and 2010 by an average annual 28%.

 
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