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R&D features in Spain and Latvia’s draft recovery plans

Top EU R&D official praises planned reforms and investments for pandemic recovery

Spain and Latvia have handed the European Commission draft plans for their shares of the EU’s €750 billion Covid-19 recovery fund, Next Generation EU, with both plans including R&D activities.

The Commission, which will review the drafts, said on 30 April that Spain had requested €69.5bn in grants under the fund, which is being shared out based on countries’ GDP and unemployment levels, among other factors.

Spain’s draft allocates €3.38 billion to science, technology and innovation—about 5 per cent of its total share.

Latvia has requested a total of €1.8 billion in grants. Its draft includes investments and reforms to university hospitals and a push to collect genomic data from up to 3,500 citizens to strengthen genetic research nationally and contribute to the EU’s 1+ Million Genomes Initiative, among other R&D related areas.

The EU’s top R&D official, Jean-Eric Paquet, applauded the submission of both plans on 6 May.

He said he was happy to see Spanish reforms and investments “aiming at enhancing human capital” and “reinforcing research and innovation governance”.

Paquet said it was “great” that the Latvian plan includes “strengthening university governance to boost economy growth”.

The Commission said on 1 May it had so far received plans from 13 EU countries.