Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation
Between Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe

FCT - Foundation for Science and Technology

Foundation for Science and Technology


FCT - Foundation for Science and Technology

Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) is the national funding agency that supports science, technology and innovation, in all scientific domains, under responsibility of the Ministry for Education and Science. FCT started its activity in August 1997, succeeding the Junta Nacional de Investigação Científica e Tecnológica (JNICT). Since March 2012 FCT coordinates public policies for the Information and Knowledge Society in Portugal, after the integration of the Knowledge Society Agency-UMIC. In October 2013, FCT took over the attributions and responsibilities of the Fundação para a Computação Científica Nacional (FCCN), [Foundation for National Scientific Computation].


FCT’s vision is:

  • To establish Portugal as a global reference in science, technology and innovation
  • Ensure that knowledge generated by scientific research is used fully, for economic growth and the well-being of all citizens.


FCT’s mission is to continuously promote the advancement of knowledge in science and technology in Portugal, attain the highest international standards in quality and competitiveness, in all scientific and technological domains, and encourage its dissemination and active role in society and in economic growth.

FCT pursues its mission by funding fellowships, studentships and research contracts for scientists, research projects, internationally competitive research centres and state-of-the-art infrastructures, via competitive calls with international peer-review. FCT ensures Portugal’s participation in international scientific organisations, fosters the participation of the scientific community in international projects and promotes knowledge transfer between R&D centres and industry. Working closely with international organisations, FCT coordinates public policy for the Information and Knowledge Society in Portugal and ensures the development of national scientific computing resources.

The results of FCT accomplishments are, in essence, the outcome of the work carried out by the individual scientists, research groups and institutions that are funded by FCT.

Mandate and Strategy

FCT’s responsibilities are described in its Lei Orgânica. FCT’s mandate derives from the Programme of the 19th Constitutional Government, and includes:

  • Ensure training and the recruitment of researchers, via instruments such as the PhD Programmes and the FCT Investigator programme;
  • Maintain effective funding for science through regular calls for proposals, across all funding schemes, and improve the execution of allocated budgets;
  • Ensure rigorous and transparent review processes, based on peer review by national and international experts;
  • Adjust funding for science to the transitions between European Framework Programmes;
  • Honour previous multiannual commitments;
  • Ensure Portugal is a partner in major international scientific organisations;
  • Prepare the national research and innovation system for Horizon 2020;
  • Bring science and business together, by encouraging business sector investment in R&D and involving companies in researchers’ advanced training and recruitment;
  • Be a forum for dialogue with the scientific community and other stakeholders, to inform national science policy;
  • Coordinate Information Society public policies and support access to advanced computing resources and online scientific publications for the education and scientific communities.


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