In 2015, we commemorated the 75th anniversary of the International Grants and Assistantships of Spain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), marking the creation, in 1940, of the Consejo de la Hispanidad (Hispanic Culture Council), which was established as one of its priorities the awarding of grants to strengthen cultural, educational and scientific ties with members of the Ibero-American community. In subsequent years, the Hispanic Culture Council would be replaced by different institutions for cooperation with Ibero-America, Africa and Asia, which would, in turn, all be integrated into AECID in 1988. AECID now manages these programmes through its Department of Scientific and University Cooperation, within the Directorate of Cultural and Scientific Relations. These grants and assistantships share an anniversary with the AECID Library, both of which are seminal programmes of Spanish Cooperation.
Following the creation of the Institute of Hispanic Culture in 1947, the annual grants programmes with Ibero-America were designed. They would, gradually and continuously, be extended to the rest of the world, and steadily encompass all areas of knowledge and arts and culture programmes, leading up to the 68th edition for 2015-2016. In addition to the grant programmes linked to Spanish Cooperation and the creation of AECID, there are even older precedents of national grant programmes, such as the fellowships of the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome, founded in 1873 during Spain's First Republic, and the grant programme for Hispano-American citizens published in the Madrid Gazette on 22 January 1921.