If Europe is going to achieve its oft-repeated target of spending 3% of gross domestic project on research by 2010, it needs to recruit something like an additional 500,000 researchers. Achieving that sort of increase will require some serious efforts from all involved, a high-level group will tell the European Commission on Friday (April 2).

The 3% target was set by political leaders 2 years ago at the European Union's Barcelona summit, following earlier discussions at the Lisbon summit of 2000. The human resources growth associated with that goal is in the order of 1.2 million staff, say former Portuguese science minister Jose Mariano Gago and other leading figures who have produced a report that will be presented to research commissioner Philippe Busquin at a meeting in Brussels.

Europe is starting from a poor position in terms of science, engineering, and technology employment. Across the current 15-member European Union,...

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