Spain Plans to Boost Science

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Science  01 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5633, pp. 577
DOI: 10.1126/science.301.5633.577b

BARCELONA—Spanish researchers are giving a cautious reception to a new government plan to boost R&D spending. Science Minister Josep Piqué last week unveiled a draft plan to increase the government's science budget, which currently equals 1% of the country's gross national product (GNP), to 1.4% of GNP by 2007. Piqué also wants to increase the number of scientists from three to five per 1000 people and eventually would like the private sector to increase its share of total R&D spending from its current 55% to 60%.

Such goals are “theoretically” sound, says molecular biologist Pere Puigdoménech, director of the Barcelona-based Institute of Molecular Biology. But he and other researchers are skeptical that the government has the political muscle to pull it off. They note that it recently failed to achieve a goal of boosting R&D spending to 2% of GNP by the end of this year.

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