Europe needs a more structured and integrated research environment if its scientists are to compete effectively with the research efforts of the United States and Asia, Fabio Fabbi, European Commission spokesman for Research and Development, has said.

Fabbi said that research in Europe was suffering because the European Union's 25 member states were still failing to properly pool resources and knowledge.

"Research efforts are scattered across Europe, and there is little consistency and coordination, and this leads to overlapping and a waste of precious resources," Fabbi told The Scientist. He said that this fragmentation was one reason for the "less-than-thrilling performance in terms of European Nobel Prize Laureates," noting that this year's Nobel Prizes in the sciences had been won by six American and two Israeli scientists.

"Only by filling in the gaps and overcoming those cleavages can Europe really achieve added value and critical mass at a...

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