Friday, March 28, 2008

Romania seeks a research revolution

From: Labnotes

March 27th, 2008

Countries in “old Europe” like to think that they can show the Americans a thing or two about doing research. Some of the newer kids on the European block, the so-called accession states, also have ambitions to teach the rest of us something.

Romania’s Prime Minister, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, has produced one of those worthy articles that appear in the likes of sponsored sections in business magazines. This time, though, he has written for something called Public Service Review: European Union.

In a piece with the title The Romanian research revolution, Tariceanu tells us that the country’s R&D budget is set to rise

“From a mere 0.22% GDP invested in 2005 for the R&D domain, we reached 0.5% GDP in 2007, and the 2008 R&D budget is 0.75% of GDP. Further, public expenditures for R&D will register a significantly high growth rate. Our goal is that Romania reaches an amount of 1% GDP investments in R&D by 2011.”

One interesting bit of the article is his reference to inward investment. We all know about big companies moving to India and China to do R&D. Now it seems that Romania is in their sights.

It may help that “the Government I lead introduced several fiscal advantages for those private companies who perform in the field of R&D in Romania”.

These inducements may already be paying off:

“We have already some important examples of centres of excellence, such as the ones created by Renault, Microsoft or Ericsson, and I do hope that such centres will grow to be top hubs of R&D infrastructure in Europe.”

Perhaps this is a part of the country’s revenge for those EU members that did not open their doors to the free movement of Romanian workers.

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