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February 27, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:55pm

EUROPEAN RESEARCH PROGRAM NEEDS OVERHAUL SAYS PANEL

By CBR Staff Writer

Outsiders have been saying as much for years, and questioning whether government-directed research programs can ever deliver value for money, but now an independent panel of business leaders, scientists and politicians under Vicomte Etienne Davignon has concluded that the European Community’s monster $4bn research program – much of which is directed at computing, microelectronics and telecommunications, is not fulfilling its promise and needs a major overhaul. The panel said it lacked focus and was in the grip of national and sectoral interests. It called for framework programs for research to be adopted by qualified majority vote and for the European Commission to be given more power to manage the programs, backed up by a new committee of high-level independent experts to give the projects, which are now locked into decisions for up to seven years, more flexibility to adapt to scientific and technological changes.

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