The European Commission ought to increase the budget of the next Framework Research Programme from €17.5 billion to €30 billion, according to a report approved by the European Parliament last week.

The report is openly critical of Europe's failure to follow through on a policy of boosting research spending to 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2010. That ambitious and much-vaunted policy was proposed last year during the European Council's Barcelona round.

Drawn up by German Socialist Member of Parliament Rolf Linkohr and endorsed by the Parliament unanimously, the new report says that in order to increase research and development (R&D) expenditure to that level, investments must increase by 8% a year, entailing a 6% increase in public funding and a 9% increase in private investment.

The goal, it says, is to earmark 7% of the European budget for research. That would mean the budget for Seventh Framework Programme...

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