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German science budget cheers

Scientists hope an extra 3.6% means an end to the lean years for research funding

Jane Burgermeister(janeburgermeister@yahoo.co.uk)

Scientists in Germany have welcomed the government's announcement on Wednesday (June 23) that it will increase spending on science and research this year by 3.6%.

Researchers at Germany's nonuniversity research institutions will receive an extra €100 million (USD $122.13 million) as a result of the hike—at a time when the government is tightening its belt because of slow economic growth, high unemployment, and a large budget deficit. Universities will also see a 3% boost in funds.

"Finally, the government has understood that innovation, education, and universities are crucial for the well being of this country," Eva-Maria Streier, a spokeswoman for the German Research Foundation, told The Scientist.

However, Streier warned that the rate of increases in science spending would need to accelerate if Germany is to meet the European Union's target of spending 3% of its gross domestic product on research and development by 2010. "If Germany wants to...

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