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Science budget cuts will threaten Europe’s recovery, say research heads

• Ian Sample, The Guardian via

European Commission president warned that infrastructure projects crucial to the growth of member states will be hit

The heads of some of the world’s leading research organisations have warned the president of the European commission that cuts to the EU science budget will threaten the economic recovery of the region.

A shortfall in science funding would undermine basic training for young researchers and hit major infrastructure projects that are considered crucial for European science and the financial growth of member states, the scientists say in a letter to José Manuel Barroso.

The senior figures at Europe’s eight largest research organisations, including the European Space Agency and Cern, home of the Large Hadron Collider, warn that protecting the science budget is “absolutely vital” for “a return to growth” in the region.

EU officials at this week’s summit in Brussels are due to decide on funds for science and innovation covering 2014-20. The EU had earmarked €80m (£65m) for what it calls the Horizon 2020 budget, which pays for facilities, postdoctoral training and young researchers who are setting up new labs, but that figure is now under negotiation.

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