News European Research Council and Science Funding

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Astronuc

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European research goes for gold
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6399157.stm
The European Research Council (ERC) has been given a budget of 7.5bn euros (£5bn) to 2013, and will focus solely on fundamental, or "blue skies", study.

It is hoped the initiative can find the breakthrough thinking - and eventually new products and services - to keep the EU's economy globally competitive.

The ERC was formally inaugurated at a meeting in Berlin attended by the German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel.

The Council is envisioned as an independent, quality-driven funding body run by the scientists themselves.


. . . .

On research and development (R&D) investment, it continues to lag behind the US and Japan; while countries such as China and India will soon match its spend as a percentage of GDP.

. . . .

In Europe, public research is funded by individual national agencies as well as the EU's Framework Programme; but the latter has often been criticised as being over-bureaucratic, skewed towards big, complex collaborations, and subject to political pressures.

. . . .

Research projects will not have to be collaborative - they do not have to be pan-European even. There will be no specification of research areas or themes. . . . .

The ERC has really simple guiding principles: the types of projects it funds must be at the "frontiers" of knowledge. It is looking for "excellence".
Thoughts?

Sounds like some serious competition. Will it cause tension among nations and/or individuals? Will it impact collaboration?


On a somewhat parallel topic -

Car company collapse hits science
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6384499.stm
UK science has become an unexpected victim of the Rover collapse as funds used to soften the impact of the failure were clawed back from research.

The Department for Trade and Industry said it faced financial pressures that required it to re-balance its spending.
 

J77

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Thoughts?
1. Any additional source of funding's a good thing.

2. It's not an international competition.

3. Any conclusion drawn from grouping all research together can't be relied upon because different groups, let alone different countries, are experts in different things.

4. China and India need to keep check of quantity over quality, tho' I wait to see if their are results from the "growth" of these two, often quoted, countries.
 

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