How do Western Balkan countries fare with EU research grants?
In 2011, Slovenia received the largest number of EU research grants of any Western Balkan country, with 98 projects worth a total of €32,401,000 (Turkey was just ahead of it with 158 projects worth €36,685,000).
Most of these grants went to the Jožef Stefan Institute, the National Institute of Biology, and the University of Ljubljana and most of the projects’ partners were based in Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and France. None of the Slovenian institutions ranked in the top 100 in Europe, measured by indicators such as funding performance and diversity of research areas, in 2011 or 2010, but the University of Ljubljana came 44th in 2009 and Jožef Stefan ranked 75th in 2008.
Next after Slovenia was Croatia with 57 projects worth €18,542,000 (Romania and Bulgaria were ahead of it with 122 and 76 projects respectively, worth €32,345,000 and €19,916,000).
Serbia and Montenegro, still treated as one entity, had 36 projects worth €9,773,000 followed by Albania with three projects worth €671,000.
Bosnia and Herzegovina only had two projects, worth €311,000 while Macedonia had none.
Looking at the trends for 2007-2011, three groupings emerge, with Slovenia clearly standing out; middling Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro; and poorly performing Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania.
The data comes from the CORDIS database (published by the European Commission) via a new website, European Research Ranking.
The European Research Ranking "is an independent, non-profit internet initiative that wants to communicate insights into research policies and funding within the European Research Area" says Robert Huber, who works at the University of Bremen, Germany, as part of a group that specialises in scientific data management.
"The idea to rank European institutions based on their networking and funding success evolved during my work in various research projects funded by the European Union during the last few years," Huber says. "Initially, ER-Rank served to decipher networks and tendencies within the diverse European research landscape. But soon it became clear that much more can be done with this data."
The website says that "European Research Ranking aims to increase transparency of research funding within the European Research Area. It may help to understand European funding policies, to identify research alliances and to understand the cash flow among European countries and institutions spent for scientific research."