Europe Pulls Over To Let China Past

China’s R&D spending is always a worry for low spending western governments, and this week’s OECD report indicating that Chinese spending has overtaken Japan should set alarm bells ringing in Europe.

At least the European Commission now has a budget for research, with some 3.5Bn euros being allocated to nanotechnologies, but as Peter Cotgreave, director of the UK Campaign for Science and Engineering notes, Europe is still lagging the ambitions plans to raise R&D spending to 3% of GDP by 2010 and

“It means that within just over three years, the EU countries are going to find another 118bn euros a year for research, enough for every man, woman and child in the EU to fly backwards and forwards from London to Athens twice.”

In a bizarre role reversal, Europe is the one now committing itself to seven year R&D plans witht he kind of inflexibility that was such a hallmark of the Communist era.

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