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    Science Minister: Research could be 50% financed by private investment by 2010

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    Moscow, June 30 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Science and Education Minister expects scientific research to be 50% funded by private investment by 2010.

    "By 2010, the ratio is likely to be fifty-fifty," Andrei Fursenko said at a cabinet members' session Thursday, focusing on a program to modernize the public sector in science.

    In most countries, private funding now accounts for two-thirds of the scientific research budgets, while governments take up the slack, Fursenko said. But in Russia, the reverse is true, with more than 60% of research and development investment channeled from the State Treasury and the remainder brought in by private investors, primarily large corporations.

    Fursenko said he expected the share of private contributions to increase steadily in the next three years, but that the bulk would continue to be coming from government sources through 2008.

    He emphasized the need to make sure that the allocated funds were spent as effectively as possible.

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