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2006 budget increases funds for Research and Innovation but reduces in the Information Society (Updated)

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The investment channeled to the Information Society in the State Budget for 2006 is 269.07 million euros, a decrease of 43.9 percent compared to last year, predicts PIDDAC. According to the Jornal de NegĂłcios, which analyzed the document delivered to the Assembly of the Republic yesterday, the general revenue foreseen for the Information Society also drops to 120.1 million euros, against the 201.3 million foreseen in the Budget of the year past. Also noteworthy is a decrease in forecasts of Community funding from 165.6 million euros, to 132.9 million.

On the side of the increases, it is worth mentioning the almost triplication of the Budget of UMIC – Agency for the Information Society, to which 144 million euros are channeled. The new public institute channels a budgetary effort of 162.4 million euros to a forecast of revenue of 3.2 million euros and an expectation of community financing of around 100 million euros.

Research and Innovation absorb 322.2 million euros

Public expenditure contemplated for the area of ​​innovation and research reaches 322.2 million euros in the State Budget for 2006, when in the previous year this area had a budget of 298.8 million euros. Operating funds have also increased to 109.8 million euros, details the document published on the Government’s website.

In this area, there is also an increase in the funds allocated to the Foundation for Science and Technology, which receives 325.4 million euros, 15.6 percent more than last year.

Both areas (Information Society and Research and Innovation), together with professional training, channel 16 percent of the expenses registered in PIDDAC. It is recalled that in the last opposition government, led by Pedro Santana Lopes, the Information Society and Electronic Government absorbed 5.8 percent of the funds registered in PIDDAC, about 387.5 million euros.

For its part, Scientific and Technological Research had a weight of 4.4 percent in the Central Administration’s Investment and Development Expenditure Program, with a registered investment of 298.8 million euros.

In the Budget for next year, the Government underlines that «the Information Society and Electronic Government and Scientific and Technological Research programs are especially important for the development and modernization of the country» emphasizing their relevance as instruments to fulfill the objectives outlined in the Lisbon Strategy .

In the area of ​​communications, the Budget foreseen for the sectoral regulator also stands out. Anacom will have a budget of 59.5 million euros next year, a figure that represents an increase of 0.8 percent compared to this year and which will aim to stimulate the technological development of the sector and monitor the market , with special attention to issues such as the development of broadband, the document states.

The budget also points to this year the launch of digital terrestrial television and the mobile coverage of all «maritime, land and air» public transport, areas supervised by Anacom.

Editorial note [2005-10-18 16:57:00]: The news was updated to add information on Anacom’s 2006 budget and priorities.

[2005-10-19 18:48:00]: Minister Mariano Gago called today a press conference in which he refutes the evaluation of the budget in relation to the reduction of funds for the Information Society. The news can be read on TeK and has the title Government studies project for making medical content available online

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