€30 million to be set aside for science in next year and a half

Serbian Minister of Finance Mladjan Dinkic announced today on his visit to the Institute for Physics in Zemun that €30 million will be set aside during the next year and a half for the institute’s scientific and research work, promoting innovations and building science parks.

Dinkic said that the government’s objective is that at least 1% of GDP is set aside for science annually by year 2010. He added that the science budget will be doubled next year comparing to the period when this government came to power, only to gradually reach 1% of GDP.

The Minister of Finance stressed that the government wants to prevent a “brain drain” in Serbia by investing in science.

The Serbian government’s aim is to encourage scientists to stay in the country, and not go abroad, said Dinkic, and added that the Institute of Physics in Zemun will receive €2.5 million to secure equipment within the framework of the approved projects of the National Investment Plan, and this investment in equipment for physics and astronomy is the largest one in the last 45 years, that is since the founding of the institute.

The Minister said that in August talks in Brussels will be held on realisation of a relaxed visa regime for scientists from Serbia. He added that scientists and students should be able to travel without a visa, and the aim is to do that for all Serbian citizens at the latest by 2008.

Serbian Minister of Science and Environmental Protection Aleksandar Popovic said that, along with regular allocations from the budget, €30 million will be invested in science in the coming year and a half, of which some €2.5 million is for financing 50 innovations annually, the same amount is reserved for building the science park Radmilovac, while €4.4 million has been set aside for physics.