Fusion: waste of research money or solution to world’s energy crisis?

The international fusion reactor ITER, located in the South of France in Saint Paul-lez-Durance, will cost an estimated 15 billion Euros over its lifetime. For critics, this project is an enormous white elephant, a colossal misdirection of resources away from other areas of science at a time when money is in short supply. Supporters say ITER can move us closer to sustainable energy, with no atmospheric pollutants, and that the one billion per year between 35 or so countries is money well spent.

Croatia’s research is ‘unsatisfactory’ and dogged by challenges, says science minister

Croatia’s science minister and his assistant have painted a rather bleak picture of the current state of the country’s science, characterising it as low quality, completely divorced from industry, and plagued by funding difficulties and fragmentation. The Read more […]

Cumulating R&D cuts does not bode well for the future of Spain

For the fourth consecutive year, resources allocated by the Spanish Government to R&D have been reduced. To assess its real impact, we need a detailed analysis. However, facts already speak for themselves. The 2013 annual budget approved by the Spanish Parliament reveals the government’s actual policy regarding R&D. To say the least, it is not always in line with politicians’ statements in the media.

Greece: Innovation born from austerity

After 2008, the global crisis had hit the Greek economy for good and affected academia and its funding. My attempts to fund my R&D work through EU and National projects, or via outside collaborations, were unsuccessful. Despite these setbacks, Greek artificial intelligence scientist Nikolas Nanas decided to turn his PhD work on adaptive information filtering into a real world application that became the NOOWIT magazine platform.

Why academics need to know about internationalisation of industrial R&D

A new EC report, The role and internationalisation strategies of multinational , scrutinises the nature of industrial innovation in Europe. Today, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, automotive, IT hardware, electronics and electrical equipment are the most internationalised industries. The report is published as part of European Commission DG Enterprise and Industry’s global review of innovation policies. The lessons from this report may have implications for academic research that is likely to result in technology transfer of research into innovative solution

Sustaining research through the economic downturn – in the UK and Europe

On the 6th and 7th of September 2010, the historic Midland hotel in central Manchester, UK was filled with nearly 400 participants attending the Vitae Researcher Development Conference. The discussion of ideas on professional development and support for researchers at this year’s annual gathering is of particular importance, as it comes cheek by jowl with the UK spending review outcomes to be announced this Autumn – and with an expectation of hard times to come. The conference participants were set to discuss the new political context, to gather evidence of the contribution of researchers to the academic base and to economic and cultural prosperity, and to address future skill sets of researchers and the UK’s place in the global research environment.