Unions denounce unequal R&D investment

Labour unions and PhD student associations in Italy have criticised the government’s focus on research and development that comes at the expense of the nation’s universities after €200 million (US$223 million) was allocated to the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa at the end of May, writes Santiago Sáez Moreno for Chemistry World.

The education ministry’s official line is that €200 million was allocated to the Italian Institute of Technology to “promote […] national interest research projects for the economic development of the country, and actions that help young people access the world of research”. The ministry declined to comment further.

However, the move has caused anger among many researchers. The largest labour union in the country said in a press release that the Italian Institute of Technology has been receiving €100 million per year for the last 10 years, and the institute has only spent 80% of this money. Sources at the labour union added that universities were subject to “extremely rigid productivity tests” used to allocate the “ever-dwindling funds of a chronically underfunded” university and public research system in Italy.
Full report on the Chemistry World site