BERLIN Russia and the European Union have pledged to strengthen scientific research ties while the Russian federal budget is expected to provide $8.5B for the nation's civilian research in 2008.
EU officials are calling for co-funded projects in the area of health and nanotechnologies and new materials. Discussions are underway on similar co-funded initiatives in aeronautics, nuclear fission and space research, according to a statement from the EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council.
Russia's participation in the Sixth Framework Program (FP6) has been a success, the Council said. More than 300 participants from Russia were involved in over 200 joint research projects, worth over 2B euros ($3.1B).
In total, Russian research organizations obtained more than 45M euros ($70M) in EU funding.
EU officials are examining Russia's request to be part of the Seventh Framework Program. If approved, Russian researchers could participate in all FP7 calls for proposals and compete for funding on an equal footing with EU scientists.
Meanwhile, RIA Novosti reports that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said total federal budget spending for civilian science is rising annually and in 2008 will be about 200B roubles ($8.5B).
Putin also pledged another salary raise for Russian Academy of Science employees. RAS salaries have tripled since 2006.
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