science 4.6.2018 15:15

Scientists want determined, operative govt aware of power of R&D

Ljubljana, 4 June - Chemistry Institute director Gregor Anderluh and the head of the Jožef Stefan Institute Jadran Lenarčič called on Monday for a determined and effective government that will recognise the key role of science in development. Both however fear the result of Sunday's election might protract the forming of the coalition.

"The election will be remembered for the low turnout and the fragmentation of the political landscape. I believe it will be very hard to form a new government and I hope it will not take too long," Anderluh told the STA.

The IJS's Lenarčič suggested no time should be lost, since "in a time when the world is running at full steam, we'd need, more than ever before, an operative expert government with strong political support, which would believe in its vision".

Lenarčič expects the government will be formed by the runner-up of the election, the Marjan Šarec List (SMC), he however fears the many different parties involved will keep the government excessively busy with itself.

He is proposing "a mixture of a political and technocrat government", noting that technical experts with strong support are needed as ministers in some fields.

"I'd like to see a development-oriented government that will know how to resolve key development issues on the basis of science and innovation," Lenarčič said.

Anderluh stressed the new government should immediately increase the share of GDP spent on science and research to 1% and support a new cycle of investment in infrastructure and equipment in science.

He also sees the need to improve the phasing of EU funds, the business side of the sector and secure a more effective cooperation between science, higher education and technology and innovation.

"Technology has completely disappeared from the the Economic Development Ministry. I propose a merger of the departments of science, higher education, technology and innovation within a new ministry for development," Anderluh said.

He also feels the time is ripe for legislative changes that will make it easier to employ foreign experts.