Ion Tighineanu: Funding for science in Moldova is very modest

Science in the Republic of Moldova is underfunded, but a country cannot face the challenges of the century in which we live in the absence of investments in research and innovation, academician Ion Tighineanu stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency. According to the president of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova, the budget allocated to science and research in the Republic of Moldova represents 0.22% of the GDP - an amount that is much too low for the field to be competitive with highly developed states.

The president of the ASM sounds the alarm and says that science in the Republic of Moldova is poorly funded, the amount allocated for the development of research and innovation being much too low compared to the states of the region. The underfunding of science does not ensure the development of the field.

“We have the right to participate in European programs. Now there is Horizon Europe. But the right to participate does not guarantee our participation itself. Because it is a fierce contest. It is a contest where only the most competitive ones, the strongest win. The results depend on the potential. And the infrastructure depends on the level of funding. Just recently, on May 15, we had the General Assembly of the Academy of Sciences during which we presented the report on the state of science in the Republic of Moldova. And we came up with concrete figures. The funding of science in the Republic of Moldova is very modest. In the Czech Republic, the funding constitutes 2% of the GDP, in Lithuania - over 1% of the GDP, in Serbia, which aspires to become a member of the EU, likewise, the funding is 1%. In the Republic of Moldova, the funding for science represents 0.22% of the GDP and this amount has been steadily decreasing in recent years,” said academician Ion Tighineanu.

He noted that only funding can ensure performance and, in the absence of funds allocated from the state budget, the research field is no longer competitive internationally. The field is facing an acute shortage of young staff and Moldova’s capacity to attract European funds in this field has decreased dramatically.

“Such funding cannot allow us to develop the field of research and innovation. We can keep up with the wave, but have no chance to develop. Of course, there was hope that we will win grants within European programs. But our capacity to win grants has declined in recent years because the infrastructure is very poor. The young people are leaving. The conditions for conducting research today are minimal. It is clear that without a strategy for developing research and without support from the state, this field has no chance of developing. We are in the 21st century, when scientific research must play a very important role. Decisions must be taken based on evidence, based on scientific research. At the international level, science is given a lot of attention. The opinion that crystallized is that civilization can overcome the challenges of the 21st century only by supporting science, by developing scientific research. This refers to large, rich countries, but also to small countries,” said the president of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova.

The public debate entitled “Romanian Academy and Academy of Sciences of Moldova: Partnership for the Development of Research and Innovation in the European Context” was the sixth edition of the project “Double Integration through Cooperation and Information. Continuity”, which is funded by the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova. The content of this debate does not represent the official position of the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova.

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