Brussels, 02 Oct 2003
The French ministry responsible for research and technology has announced a series of measures to boost research and development in France.
The measures include an increase in research spending by 3.9 per cent in 2004, raising the total research budget to 8.93 billion euro. As part of their budgetary package, the ministry has also earmarked 150 million euro -1.7 per cent of the total budget for research - for priority actions in the field of health, alternative energies and environment.
Funding given to researchers who are completing their doctorates will also increase by four per cent, and the ministry aims to create an extra 200 post doctorate positions in addition to the existing 400.
Regarding researchers' mobility, a special financial package, worth five million euro, is foreseen in the action plan to support the exchange of researchers between France and other countries.
In addition, to forge links between industry and research, the action plan proposes to increase the number of research placements by 35 per cent, raising the number of student researchers in industry to 1,160 and annual financial aid to 36 million euro.
These budgetary provisions are in keeping with the EU policy of increasing research investment to three per cent of GDP by 2010, and are expected to help the French government achieve its goal of 2.6 per cent of GDP by 2006.