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Plan to close Belgian agency opposed

Belgian researchers are up in arms over Belgium's plan to shut down a federal research funding agency.

A petition opposing plans to shut down the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (Belspo), launched on 13 November, has attracted nearly 13,000 signatures. Many researchers said the plan would hurt research collaboration with partners inside Belgium and abroad.

Elke Sleurs, state secretary for science and a member of the New Flemish Alliance party, announced the government plan on 12 November. The proposal is believed to be motivated both by cost savings and by the government’s desire that research be funded by states in Belgium, rather than at the federal level.

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