Recent data suggests that scientists from past Eastern-bloc countries that are now EU members are increasing their use of the EU’s funding programs, such as the €12.5 billion ($27.1 billion) Seventh Framework Program (FP7), which extends from 2007 to 2013. During the Soviet era, these countries’ universities and research institutes were kept apart and grants were awarded on a noncompetitive basis. Although none of the new member countries have caught up with Western EU countries in terms of the number of proposals, partnerships with companies or research consortia leadership, progress has been made. New member countries accounted for approximately 10% of the accepted proposals in the FP7’s first round of research calls. So far, the Czech Republic has received about 1.5% of the FP7’s funding for aeronautics, biotech, nanoscience and materials research. Following the merger of Estonia’s Academy of Sciences with two universities, its research prospects have improved. Although Poland has 8% of the population in the EU, its 2.3% rate of participation in the EU’s cooperative proposals and its inability to capture FP7 grants has led the government to propose a reform plan. Source: Nature

< | >