The research and technology system of Greece is centralised and dominated by the public sector both in terms of funding and performance.
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Research funding earmarked by the Structural Funds for the regions is to a large extent managed by central calls, which are the same for the whole territory using regional funding quotas. As a consequence there is limited diversification of regional RTDI policies. Public funding exceeds half of total gross expenditure on R&D (GERD), while university spending represents close to half of this expenditure.
A significant feature of the national R&D system is the high share of funding from abroad amounting to about 16% of GERD (2012). This is almost shared between the Framework Programmes for Research (FP7) and Structural Funds, the former contributing slightly more than the latter.EU sources combined with the matching funds provided by the government to public research organisations represent 100% of the competitive research funding.
The national system is fairly stable in the last five years. The General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) has been the main organisation designing and implementing RTDI policy since the 1980s. The GSRT has moved back and forth between the Ministry of Development and Competitiveness and the Ministry of Education and Religion, where it remains since 2012. Universities are key players followed by research centres, while the business sector plays a very limited role. There has been systematic increase of competitive funding compared to block funding, which was the dominant form of support during the ‘80s. All competitive research programmes are supported by the EU Structural Funds.
The NSRF is the main funding source for research and innovation. While research is a clear competence of the Ministry of Education and Religion, economic development is a competence of the Ministry of Development and Competitiveness. As innovation is a crucial component of development there is de facto dual responsibility and no evidence of effective coordination between the two. There are efforts to improve coordination during the preparation of the 2014-2020 programming period.
In terms of governance, responsibility of research and innovation funding is currently divided between the Ministry of Education and Religion, currently supervising GSRT, the Ministry of Development and Competitiveness which has the overall responsibility for supporting all intervention of economic development through the supervision of the NSRF.
Public consultation for a Law on Research, Technology Development and Innovation was concluded in December 2013. This law is expected to introduce changes to the governance of RTDI system as well as to the overall funding mechanisms of research programmes and to the evaluation of researchers. Its final form is not known yet, as it has not been submitted to Parliament.
Research and innovation policy is planned for a period of seven years following the cycle of the Structural Funds’. Until the programming period 2000-2006, research priorities were part of CSF and the majority of the relevant measures were incorporated in the Operational Programme (OP) Competitiveness. In the current programming period 2007-2013, research and innovation policy is described in the Strategic Development Plan for RTI under the 2007-2013 NSFR, which in May 2011 was replaced by a new document “On-line with the future” published by the Ministry of Education and Religion.