Iceland making profit from European research funding

European co-operation in education and science has netted Iceland ten billion kronur over the last 15 years, according to a University of Iceland source.

According to Agust Hjortur Ingthorsson, the head of Research Services at the university, pan-European science and education funding has profited Iceland to the tune of ISK 10 billion (EUR 60 million) in 15 years.

In a Frettabladid article this week, Ingthorsson writes that successful grant applications by Icelandic parties attracted EUR 150 million in European funding between 1995 and 2010 — which is ISK 25 billion at today’s rate.

Iceland’s annual contribution to pan-European science and education funding has never exceeded the amount successful grant applicants from the country have been awarded. The difference between national contribution and grants awarded to Icelandic parties is EUR 60 million, or ISK 10 billion.

Ingthorsson added that the financial ‘profit’ is not the country’s only gain. Access to knowledge and co-operation across European borders stimulates research and development in Iceland, the massive value of which is hard to quantify.

The biggest Icelandic receiver of European research and education money in previous years has been DeCode Genetics, closely followed by the University of Iceland. The university has benefited from a billion kronur in European money.

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