DUBLIN—The Irish government, after months of delay and speculation, has committed itself to a science and technology development program with a special emphasis on biotechnology. Although the Irish government is in the midst of making sharp cuts in public spending, Prime Minister Charles Haughey said this new allocation to develop science and technology "will be a permanent feature of the annual budget."

Ireland spends about $600 million annually on science, a significant sum for a country whose population is roughly the size of metropolitan Boston. At the same time, the figure falls considerably below the proportion of the gross national product spent on science by its European neighbors.

The Irish minister of state for science, Sean McCarthy, described the new program as "seed money," with much of it being spent on new instrumentation. McCarthy unveiled the $4 million program June 11, four months after the current government was elected. McCarthy...

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