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Portugal: 250 million euros to science and technology

Portuguese Prime Minister Socrates announced an increase of 250 million euros for science and technology in the 2007 budget, in order to decrease the gap separating Portugal from the EU average in the field of research and innovation. According to the government, this is the biggest increase ever in Portugal for science and technology.

This measure will allow the government to increase the number of scholarships and grants for doctoral and post-doctoral research by 60 per cent. The government is also set on reducing the number of research centres by 25 per cent for a more rational management of resources, and to encourage enterprises to invest in research. According to Socrates, these measures are necessary in order for Portugal to reach at least one per cent of its GDP in research investment by the end of the current legislature.

Portugal’s spending on research is currently 0,79 per cent of the country’s GDP, whereas the EU average is at 1,9. The Lisbon target is three per cent.