Dark Clouds over Spanish Science

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Science  14 Jun 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6138, pp. 1292
DOI: 10.1126/science.1233726

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Spain's controversial 2013–2020 research and development (R&D) strategy (1), and the 2013–2016 national R&D plan that implements it (2) aim to (i) slim down public support for basic science and education and move it toward market-driven, applied research and (ii) foster private participation in technology transfer by redirecting public funds toward private enterprises. The plan's performance indicators focus more on technology transfer and innovation than on research quality (2). Improved private R&D would be welcome, but redirecting public funds toward private, targetbased R&D, coupled with major budget cuts (3), and without addressing underlying issues in the Spanish production and funding systems, risks undermining efforts to sustain and improve basic research.