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UK verdict on EU science funding

UK Parliament investigation says EU research programs work but could be improved

Andrew Scott(andrewscotteurope@yahoo.co.uk)

The UK Parliament's Science and Technology Committee has released the results of an investigation into the value the United Kingdom gains from the EuropeanCommission's research Framework Programmes. These are the main source of centralized European Union funding for research.

The UK will supply €2.5 billion of the €17.5 billion budget for the current Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). There have been concerns about whether this is money well spent.

The committee's report, entitled "UK Science and Europe: Value for money?" reaches generally favorable conclusions. It says: "As an instrument facilitating cooperation between scientists and researchers across Europe, the Framework Programmes work." The report does, however, offer some criticisms and recommendations for improvement. It says the current Framework Programme "is far too bureaucratic: there are serious time delays between submission of proposals, issuing of contracts and payment of funding… The application process [is] difficult, and the lack of...

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