The main activity of the European Research Council is to finance researchers and their research groups with ambitious projects on the frontier of knowledge, in any discipline in the field of science, engineering or teaching.

Image result for European Research Council.The ERC places special emphasis on the frontiers of science, erudition and engineering. In particular, it encourages interdisciplinary proposals that cross the boundaries between different fields of research, pioneering proposals that address new and emerging research fields or proposals, the introduction of innovative unconventional approaches and scientific inventions.

So the four main grants planned in its 2016 budget are:

  • ERC Starting Grants: funds excellent researchers who are starting their own research team. Applicant Principal Investigators must demonstrate the innovative nature, ambition and viability of their scientific proposal. The maximum financing is € 1,500,000 for 5 years. The call ends in November 2015.
  • Consolidator Grants: Finances up to € 2,000,000 to researchers who have obtained their doctorate with an experience of between 7 and 12 years. The call scheduled for October 2015 will end in February 2016. This has a budget of 605 million euros.
  • Advanced Grants: In this case, researchers are already funded as leaders of a research center with a recognized path of achievement in research. They will be financed with a maximum of € 2,500,000 for a period of 5 years. The call will be opened in May 2016 and will have 540 million euros.
  • Proof of Concept Grants: finance projects already funded by ERC from which new business opportunities or social applications have arisen. A maximum of € 150,000 will be given for a period of 18 months. The call that will start in October will have three deadlines in February, May and October 2016.

Calendar of calls foreseen in the ERC 2016 program. August 2015-December 2016

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The changes in taxes in the Savings brought by the tax reform

Image result for tax reformSince January 1, one of the most important tax changes in recent years has been applied in Spain. The tax reform that affects fundamentally the IRPF reduces the number of tax brackets, creates new deductions but also ends with others and also has important changes in many savings products that we must know in order to achieve the best financial-fiscal result.

Savings Accounts and Deposits

The taxation of accounts and fixed-term deposits does not undergo major changes except in one important point, the types of taxation. These are reduced in 2015 and in 2016 according to the attached table:

In addition to this reduction, the important modification is that the largest tax bracket will not start from the 24,000 euros of profit, if not from 50,000 euros.

Investment funds

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This product suffers many changes, some positive and others negative. The funds are taxed through the profits and losses generated at the time of sale. Whereas before, if there were amounts with less than one year old, it was taxed as a general income. Now, in all cases, it will be taxed on savings income, with lower rates.

But on the negative side, for investors with funds for many years. Eliminates the Coefficients of Abatement although allowing to continue using it a kind of fiscal credit of up to 400,000 euros. If you had assets acquired before 1994, these coefficients allowed obtaining a reduction in capital gains derived from the sale of assets not affected by economic activities for the gain obtained until January 20, 2006.

With the tax reform planned for 2015 will be taxed by the total profit generated between the purchase and sale but allows you to benefit from this coefficient up to a limit of 400,000 euros. This does not apply individually for each operation, but it takes into account all capital gains (stocks, funds, real estate ….) From 2015, until the 400,000 euros are exhausted.


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Investing in high dividend stocks has become for some a way of saving and therefore the important change in taxation will affect them worse. The reform eliminates the exemption applied to the first 1,500 euros obtained by this way, so that taxes will be paid for the total of the dividends collected, hurting fundamentally the small investor. With this, the collection of dividends in shares and not in cash will gain strength.

Debt Products

The changes are those previously seen, on the one hand the reduction of the tax rates, in the same amount as indicated in the table of accounts and deposits and on the other hand the elimination of the difference between the taxation of the profits generated in a shorter period or more than 12 months. Thanks to this, from this year we can compensate losses or gains from capital returns with gains or losses from transfers of assets in a more flexible way.

Forecast products

The Systematic Savings Investment Plans (PIAS) are reduced to 5 years the term to obtain the tax benefits at the time of collection, exempt in income and with significant reductions according to age groups if you do it in the form of capital. The non-exempt part is taxed as income from movable capital in the IRPF, due to the change in the types of savings that also affect the majority of investments.

Pension plans and Retirement Plans have very important changes. A new rescue scenario is added, the contributions are more than 10 years old. This assumption will begin to compute as of January 1, 2015, so previous contributions can not be recovered until January 1, 2025.

The maximum contributions are also reduced, which will be 8,000 euros regardless of the age you have, that is, not only is it reduced from the 10,000 euros cap that was applied in a general way, but it also ends with the improvement that existed for over 50 years.

At the time of rescue if there are benefits. The rate will be reduced to the fork 20-47% in 2015 and 19-45% from 2016. Of course, if you do it in the form of capital you can only apply the existing reduction of 40% for contributions made before 2006 temporarily for two years.

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Image result for cdti r d spainThis September came from Brussels the news of the decline in interest rates to historical lows of 0.05% before the cuts in the growth forecast of the Euro zone, from 1% to 0.9%.

This decrease is followed by the announcement by CDTI of an improvement in the terms of financing of the lines of both R & D projects and in internationalization , for which the fixed part of 0.1% is eliminated, leaving only the Euribor .

On the other hand, it modifies the current conditions for loans from the CDTI Innovation Hotline, which reduce loans to 3 years and loans to 5 years to 2%. This supposes a descent of a point and 0,5 points with respect to the previous conditions of the loans to the innovation .

All the above, together with the current economic situation, make it the right time for large companies and especially for SMEs to start an R + D + i project, which contributes more value to the company, helps its competitiveness in the current market, and make it more efficient in the face of competition.

Among the favorable conditions of a CDTI loan include:

  • Amortizable in 10 years with two years of grace in the repayment of the principal
  • The existence of a non-reimbursable tranche of 10% on CDTI funding for SMEs and 5% for large companies,
  • The minimization of financial expenses with respect to a bank loan.
  • The financing does not consume banking risk.

These conditions, together with the tax deduction for R & D or Technological Innovation that can be applied by the company thanks to the ex-ante report issued by CDTI and certify which activities are R & D or IT, make this the best tool and the best moment to finance your project.

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