German government gives health research a big leg up
Berlin – In the second major biotech-related funding project from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within two months, the ministry announced that Germany will be spending more than EUR5.5bn on a programme for health research by 2014. In December of last year, Research Minister Annette Schavan started a EUR2.4bn funding scheme for the bio-economy. The lion’s share from the most recent health research programme that is to be funded by the BMBF will be invested in six German Centers for Health Research. The aim is to help top scientists and researchers from both university medicine and non-academic facilities work together, and provide them with long term funding. “We are pursuing the strategy to bring together the best scientists and thereby promote the rapid transfer of knowledge from the laboratory into practice,” said Schavan. The German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the German Center for Diabetes Research have already begun work. The four other centres – for Infection, Lung Diseases, Cardiovascular Diseases and Cancer – were announced in December, and will begin work soon.