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Agencies Tout Reforms, Seek Greater Support

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Science  24 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5449, pp. 2432
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5449.2432a

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BERLIN-- Stung by criticism from an international panel, the leaders of Germany's DFG basic research funding agency and the prestigious Max Planck network of research institutes last week outlined initiatives to make Germany's research system more flexible, better coordinated, and more open to fresh ideas and top researchers from abroad. They come on the heels of a move by the Helmholtz Association, which represents the country's 16 federally funded national research centers, to centralize decision-making and foster work in six interdisciplinary areas. All three research organizations are responding in part to outside pressure. But DFG president Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker and Max Planck president Hubert Markl say that the German government must also do its part by easing federal regulations and boosting spending.