News Focus

Eastern Europe's Research Gamble

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Science  01 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5398, pp. 22-24
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5398.22

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Early this year, as many as 10 former communist countries of central and eastern Europe will become full participants in the European Union's new flagship research program, Framework 5. For these cash-strapped nations, the chance to join the Framework constitutes a high-stakes gamble: Governments will pay for participation up-front and hope that their researchers win back the cost of admission in grants. After initial subsidies end, Framework 5 subscriptions will consume as much as a tenth of the already-meager national research budgets of some countries, and their researchers will face competition from research powerhouses such as Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.