In DepthResearch Funding

Europe's science spending set for another big boost

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Science  01 Jun 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6392, pp. 952-953
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6392.952

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  • How can funding allocation be optimized?

    Tania Rabesandratana reported the next funding framework in the European Commission after Horizon 2020 (1).
    Numbers of scientific and technological journal articles per research and development expenditure in 2015 were calculated as the followings. The original data were retrieved from World Bank Open Data (2), and I calculated them.
    - India: 8.135E-06
    - European Union (EU): 1.890E-06
    - China: 1.799E-06
    - World: 1.384E-06
    - United States (USA): 8.477E-07
    - Japan: 6.916E-07
    The number of articles does not necessarily determine the superiority or inferiority of science and technology. However, since the EU's performance is higher than that of the world, Horizon 2020 is considered to have allocated funds better than that of other regions. Growing China and India showed good performance, and the EU also showed as good performance as them.
    Meanwhile, the USA and Japan showed poor performance. Japan had strengthened the strategy of selection and concentration in allocating funds. There are criticisms that the strategy has generated laboratories with excessive fund and laboratories in fund shortage. Thus, one issue is to optimize the allocation of small funds and large funds. Within the EU, French performance was bad and German performance was extremely bad, while Italy, Spain and Poland performed their research efficiently. The large developed countries had relatively low performance, and it may be caused by high prices...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • Large and long-term funding tends to spoil humans including researchers

    Tania Rabesandratana wrote an article entitled “Europe’s science spending set for another big boost” (1). Historically speaking, two governments including US and Japan have failed in the long-term big projects (2-5). A large government fund tends to spoil the funded firms and weakens their abilities to profit from market (4). Humans are inherently/biologically lazy, which may be a trait left over from our ancestors’ days of conserving energy for the next hunt (6-7). To be successful in the Europe’s science project, watching the project plays a key role. “wu wei” is the best policy for guiding it to a successful stage (8). In order to avoid spoiling researchers, careful watching without unnecessary interference is needed in the large and long-term budget project. Instead of the large Europe’s science funding to the designated research areas, the fund should be shared with many researchers (4).

    References:
    1. Tania Rabesandratana, “Europe’s science spending set for another big boost,” Science 01 Jun 2018: Vol. 360, Issue 6392, pp. 952-953
    2. John Markoff, Thinking Machines To File for Bankruptcy, The New York Times August 16, 1994
    3. Sascha Karberg, Biotech's Perfect Storm, Cell Volume 138, Issue 3, p413–415, 7 August 2009
    4. Y. Takefuji, The large government funds should be shared with many researchers, http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6334/123/tab-e-l...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • RE: LACK OF MONEY OR LACK OF LABOR?

    Dear Tania. I think EU, and USA as well, doesn't need a big money to work. What they need is a working will. Money sometimes is a trouble more than a solution. I explain myself. To Work is produce more than what you expend on that producings. But a big issue of money to that matter which the beneficiaries expend on car, planes and train travellings, plus leisures and illegal dope, more than on addecuate mains to gain a real margen of benefits is, sincerely, most the trouble than the solution. People seems to be excesively mechanicists and other countries with a precious hand skills are eating us alive. EU, doesn't need big money to the burocracy and the technocracy which drive us to an economic spiral abyss. What EU needs is a working labor culture trusting on their hands more than on an expensive and energy sucking machinery. I'm not talking about abandon the virtues of enginery and mechanicals goods, but in do not abandon the goods of sweat and hand labors we need to joint them. Salutes.

    Competing Interests: None declared.