Spain Doubles Research & Development Spending

Investment will include nanotechnology and biotechnology sectors

To become more competitive, Spain will double research and development spending to 47 billion euros (US$65 billion) for 2008-2011.

R&D "is an essential factor in improving competitivity. If Spain wants to continue to grow and generate employment we have to be capable of generating our own knowledge," Spanish First Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said.

The cash will be primarily earmarked for research into health, biotechnology, energy and climate change, as well as telecommunications and information and nanotechnology.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced in January that Spain intended to lift R&D spending from a current 1.13% of public expenditure to 2.0%, the EU average as a whole in 2004, according to the EU statistical office Eurostat.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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