Research policy is defined by the current Portuguese Government (which took office in mid-2011), builds on the achievements of the previous Governments, and stresses the need for excellence and efficiency in national research. The Government Programme defines the objectives of the scientific policy. Construction of transport infrastructure is a hot topic in the national transport policy. The Priority Infrastructure Investment Programme sets out the priority projects for the coming years. Another document relevant to transport planning is a plan published by the Portuguese Government for eleven logistics parks to be completed in 2013.
The Ministry for Education and Science is responsible for designing and implementing research policy and for cooperation in international research. The law establishing the new organisational structure for the Ministry of Education and Science, published in December 2011, foresees a National Council for Science and Technology, which will be the main body for ‘cross-cutting science and technological matters’. The Ministry of Economy and Employment plays an important role in promoting research and innovation in private companies.
These Governmental institutions are supported by the Foundation for Science and Technology, which operates as the national research council, and the Innovation National Agency, which promotes innovation and scientific development by facilitating private-public cooperation.
The Ministry of Economy and Employment is also responsible for designing, implementing, and executing and evaluating policies on transport development. Funding for research, including transport research, is mainly provided by public authorities:
- Ministry of Education and Science
- Ministry of the Economy and Employment.
Other ministries also allocate funds for R&D, but to a lesser extent. Research can also be funded through the National Strategic Reference Framework Operational Programmes. Academic research is also funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology.
Organisations responsible for institutional framework and funding: