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No ideal amount of competitive research funding, report says

Each country must consider its own unique circumstances when deciding how much public R&D funding to award through competitions, a European Commission report has said.

“There seems to be no evidence to suggest the existence of an optimal share of institutional research funding to be allocated through performance-based research funding systems,” according to the report, which was published by the Commission on 7 February.

For example, the UK allocates about 40 per cent of its institutional funding competitively, but there is evidence that Sweden has effectively changed institutions’ behaviour and performance with a competitive funding share of just 3 per cent. Therefore, not every country should necessarily choose to introduce more competitive funding, said the report’s authors Marta Truco-Calbet and Anca Dumitrescu from the Commission’s R&D department.

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