Policy ForumResearch Funding

Toward Variable Funding for International Science

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Science  19 Oct 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6105, pp. 331-332
DOI: 10.1126/science.1221970

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Science and innovation are a considerable part of the answer to global challenges. However, the demands placed on public science (1) are not well supported by mechanisms for international collaboration. We need to rethink how we organize funding for scientific cooperation in regional and global contexts. Fully integrated global structures to offer collaboration opportunities might be a desirable vision but, unfortunately, a long-term one. Instead, schemes should allow a combination of national funds by ministries and agencies that are flexible enough for the requirements of different knowledge areas and societal challenges. The European Research Area (ERA)-NET scheme offers some generic lessons.