Friday, January 19, 2007

R&D Battle Royal


Like the environment, research and development spending is a bipartisan issue that leaves (most)everyone happy. So it is that both UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy and PS candidate Segolene Royal have each tried to outdo each other in promises of more R&D.

In a column published in the December edition of the French magazine 'Research', the centre-right candidate Nicolas Sarkozy said that if in office, he would see to it that the total amount spent on research and development (R&D) - both public and private - would increase by €15 billion over the next six years. For its part, the French Government would inject a further €4 billion - a 25% increase - into the current public R&D budget, he said.

(...)

Meanwhile, in a column to be published in the February edition of 'Research', socialist presidential candidate Ségolène Royal has given her thoughts on the future of research in France. If elected, Ms Royal pledges to increase the annual research budget by10%.

Are French researchers salivating over these numbers? Not really. According to one member of the French national scientific research trade union, Sarkozy's pledge is "a manipulation of words and numbers", and Royal has not released enough detail for a fair judgement.

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