Assassins gunned down Marco Biagi, 52, a professor of economics at the University of Modena, outside his home on Tuesday.
Professor Biagi was an advisor to the labour ministry, which has been pressing for the introduction of greater flexibility in labour laws. The murder is almost identical to the 1999 assassination of economist Massimo D'Antona. D'Antona's killers, the self-styled new Red Brigades, are still free.
The European Council has set a target for spending on research and development across the European Union at 3 per cent of gross national product by 2010 and proclaimed June 2002 as the deadline for approving the sixth framework programme on research.
The University of Beijing this week made the largest ever financial award by any Chinese university to an individual - 5 million yuan (£434,000) to Wang Xuan, for his invention of a system to transfer Chinese characters electronically to type.
Average academic salaries in the United States have caught up with 1971-72 levels when adjusted for inflation, according to a survey of more than 1,400 universities and colleges published by the American Association of University Professors next month.
Faculty salaries increased by 2.2 per cent in real terms between 2000-01 and 2001-02.