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budget Czech Republic economy Jiří Weigl science Commentary

Raising funds for science and research is a wasteful luxury

Until there is no proof of any direct correlation between science funding and economic performance, all of this is a wasteful luxury.

editor: REMIX NEWS

The massive increase in resources for research and science (R&S) is taken as an indisputable precondition to prosperity once again. But, in fact, it is all about building up the so-called Potemkin villages. However, there is no evidence of the direct relationship between increasing the science budget and economic performance.

According to Jiří Weigl, Founder and Executive Director of Václav Klaus Institute, the conclusions of the last reports of the Supreme Audit Office (SAO) should be commended. SAO has criticized the Czech system of granting subsidies in the sphere of research, development and innovation as ineffective.

In 2010, funding for research, development and innovation was roughly a fifth below EU average, yet five years later the funds were one quarter above the same standard. Despite this development, the productivity in innovation is slowing down. This is the first very urgent impulse to sober up from a widely shared illusion that increasing science and research budget is the only right path towards prosperity.

„The idea of self-sustainability of science and research is wrong, especially in an economy like the Czech Republic,“ Weigl writes adding that all key Czech scientific discoveries have been finalized and applied abroad. The Czech Republic should not hope that the fees for scientific patents and licenses may change the economic position significantly.