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Ireland Looks to Invest More in Research

In a new five-year plan, Ireland plans to increase its research and development spending to be 2 percent of its gross domestic product, ScienceInsider reports. Last year's €2.9 billion in spending would become about €5 billion per year by 2020, adds ScienceInsider's Erik Stokstad.

"It is fantastic to see the Irish government's commitment to increasing the overall spending on research," Trinity College Dublin neuroscientist Kevin Mitchell tells Stokstad. "After many years of crisis management, it is great to see a longer-term strategy and vision take shape." 

The plan also calls for a 30 percent increase in PhD and master's degree students, a 60 percent increase in researchers working in business, and for the creation of a competitive fund for "frontier research."

Stokstad notes that five-year plan "is more aspirational than prescriptive, calling on governmental agencies to review tax credits and other incentives for private investment in R&D." Still, he says that it has been well received by the Irish business council Ibec and the Irish Universities Association.

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