At a conference in Warsaw last week, EU Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik warned that EU member states needed to do much more to support science.

Speaking on future EU research policy and opportunities, Potocnik said that European member states had worked hard to reach the goal of spending 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) on research, but he added that "action has not been sufficient yet for research investment to catch up more than marginally." Overall research and development (R&D) investment is now nearly 2% of GDP, up from 1.9% in 2002, he said—still a far cry from spending in the United States and Japan.

In Poland, the level of overall R&D investment in 2003 was 0.56% of GDP, Potocnik said. But his message did not fall on deaf ears. On January 11, the Polish government adopted an ambitious national investment plan that made science and the development...

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