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FCT’s debt with higher education and research institutions amounts to 98.7 million euros

The debts of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) with higher education and scientific research institutions amounted to 98.7 million euros in June, the Ministry of Education, Science and Innovation revealed on Wednesday.

The report is contained in a document presented by Minister Fernando Alexandre, heard this Wednesday by the parliamentary committee on Education and Science.

During the regulatory hearing, the minister did not present the data, which were later released by the Ministry of Education, Science and Innovation (MECI) and which show that, as of June 2024, the FCT owed 98.7 million euros.

The largest debt is with the University of Porto, worth 8.8 million eurosfollowed by the University of Aveiro (8.7 million euros), the University of Coimbra (8.4 million euros), the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (7.4 million euros) and the University of Minho (4.9 million euros).

Among the 10 largest debts are also IST-ID – Association of the Higher Technical Institute for Research and Development, the University of Évora, REQUIMTE Rede de Química e Tecnologia, i3S – Institute for Research and Innovation in Health and ISCTE – Lisbon University Institute, with amounts between €4.9 million and €2.2 million.

Of the total amount, the majority (around 43 million euros) corresponds to debts older than six months. There are also 25.1 million euros between three and six months and 30.6 million euros between one and three months.

During the hearing, the minister stressed, without mentioning the issue of debts, that the FCT should be “much more predictable” and maintained that the current way of functioning “is not acceptable”, an idea that he already defended last week.

“TO FCT must be more predictable in its activity, which is essential for science in Portugal. There is a need for more predictability in the timing of opening tenders and publication of results. There must be more predictability in payments to institutions in the scientific and technological system, which often see their activity hampered by delays,” said Fernando Alexandre, who considered the delays in payments to institutions to be unacceptable.

Source: Observadora

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