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Research funding systems too diverse, study finds

Big differences in countries’ research funding systems are undermining progress towards a unified European Research Area, a study for the European Commission has reported.

There are large differences in how much European countries spend on R&D, what proportion of this funding they allocate to projects as opposed to institutions, and which state authorities are in charge of allocations, a study for the Joint Research Centre, the Commission’s in-house science service, reported on 28 September.

Countries that were already spending the biggest proportions of their GDP on R&D in the early 2000s, including Germany and Switzerland, increased their spending the most by 2014, the study found. By contrast, there was weak growth among many of the lower spenders, and even declines among some big spenders, including the UK and France.

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