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National Centers Urged to Team Up, Compete

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Science  26 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5504, pp. 570-571
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5504.570

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FRANKFURT-- Germany's 16 national research centers--a sprawling, $2-billion-a-year array of labs ranging from the DESY synchrotron in Hamburg to the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin--are too insular, according to a new report from the nation's top scientific evaluative body. It urges the government to foster cooperation--as well as healthy competition--among the centers and between them and outside labs by following a U.S.-style funding model that emphasizes research programs that cut across many institutions rather than block grants to individual facilities.