Raging over ROPA

Published: Tuesday 31 October 1995

-- TRYING to forge a strong link between the researchers and the industrialists has proved to be a thankless job for the British government. The office of science and technology is about to come up with a report on a unique scheme called Realising Our Potential Awards (ROPA). Introduced in the beginning of 1993, it was primarily a "pat on the back" for those scientists who made an effort to hase with the industry. It was a follow-up of a White Paper on science and technology which supported basic research of the applicant's choice, but patronised only those who had already Surceeded in securing a certain arnown funds from the industry. But scheme, is at present at the receiving of a barrage of criticisms from c cerned scientists who are furious% the government for taking out ma from the National Research Coum budget and using it for "second projects under ROPA. Now, the issue come to a boil. "The government effectively taken money out of the C3 ing system", says Dai P4 chief executive of medical research cow (mRc). And the result been disastrous. More 4 70 per cent of the top pi rity projects under the MRC had to be shelved this year due to lack of funds, while a number of not-so-signals cant ones were given the green signal.

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