New plans to boost corporate research
The European Union has launched a £11.2bn plan to boost research and development spending from 1.9% of gross domestic product to 3% by 2010.
Research commissioner Phillipe Busquin inaugurated the programme, known as Framework Six, at Belgium’s Heysel stadium in front of 8,000 people at the biggest research conference in EU history.
The programme, which aims to create a unified European research area, will run for four years to 2007. It’s budget is 17% higher than the previous European R&D project.
But the programme has steered clear of controversial areas, such as embrionic stem cell research and therapeutic cloning. Busquin said the omission was ‘because there is not adequate consensus at European level to provide funding.’
‘We do not want to impose ethical rules on research, but we do require a broad consensus,’ he added.