More funding for research

State funding for scientific research will more than double over the next six years in a bid to boost the economy’s competitive edge, the government promised yesterday. Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas told an economic forum in Athens that current spending on research and development stands at just 0.65 percent of GDP – which amounts to about a third of the European Union average. By 2010, Sioufas said in a speech at the Athens Business Club 2004, state outlay on research and development will have reached 1.5 percent of GDP. He stressed, however, that research must be accompanied by innovation in both the public and the private sectors. The degree of innovation among Greek companies – as calculated by the number of new products patented on an annual basis – currently stands at a paltry 5 percent of the EU average.

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