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Hope for Funds

German lawmakers are close to building a coalition government that could infuse more funds into scientific research, Nature News reports.

As Reuters reports, Germany's Social Democratic party voted this weekend to begin formal talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, the Christian Democratic Union, to build a coalition government. It notes that this could end months of political deadlock.

Nature News adds that some of the policy ideas of the possible coalition have leaked out and that they include boosting federal science spending in Germany by €2 billion (US $2.5 billion) over the next few years. The goal, it says, is to increase science spending in Germany to 3.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product by 2025, which would place Germany as third in the world in terms of proportional science spending.

Nature News further notes that science spending in Germany has nearly doubled during Merkel's 12 years as chancellor and that some of the nation's main science institutes, including the Max Planck Society, have guaranteed budget increases.

"All the indications are that research support remains a top government priority in many fields," Otmar Wiestler, president of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, adds at Nature News.

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