Austerity measures sap Spanish science - Nature News, 7 October:
On Tuesday, science minister Cristina Garmendia defended her ministry's budget in a press conference, suggesting that it was similar to last year. But overall government expenditure in research and development (R&D) is set to drop by 8.37% next year compared with the 2010 budget, according to an analysis released on Monday by the Confederation of Spanish Scientific Societies (COSCE).Europe Aims to Boost Economy in New Innovation Plan - ScienceInsider, 7 October:
Europe has a new plan aiming to ensure that science will get the continent's economy humming again. The Innovation Union, adopted yesterday by the European Commission, is a new attack on one of Europe's intractable problems: research is plentiful and of relatively high quality, but it doesn't as often as desired result in products and services that create jobs and wealth for the 27 member states of the European Union.
The Innovation Union document is billed as the "flagship" of the Europe 2020 plan for economic growth. High in aspirations, the plan proposes a wide range of measures—from bolstering funding for science and radically simplifying the European Unions's own funding procedures to removing barriers to international collaboration.
If that sounds familiar, that's because many of the proposals have been official policy for years; they have just been hard to implement. The so-called European Research Area (ERA), for instance, aims to create a borderless market for researchers. But most grants still aren't portable, and moving to a university 30 kilometers away that happens to be in another country can put a major dent in a scientist's retirement plan as pensions often can't be transferred. (The new strategy says ERA should be completed by 2014.)