05 October 2005

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Business Today

Research and development not a public sector priority

Out of 180 units compromising of central government ministries and departments (GD), extra budgetary units (EBU) as well as local councils (LC) only eight were actively engaged in research and development projects in both 2003 and 2004.
These results were part of a National Statistics Office survey regarding the expenditure on research and development in the general government sector. Out of 180 units only 147 responded.
Only four GDs and EBUs out of 51 and 43 respectively were involved in research and development projects in both years. But the numbers remain more or less the same when analysed on single years as in 2004 only three GDs and five EBUs were active.
On the other hand “53LCs responded for both years, claiming a nil level of engagement in R&D. By far, most employees working on R&D projects were part-timers in both the GDs as well as in the EBU sub-sectors and this was observed for the two years under review.
All employees involved in R&D work added up to 877 -95.3 per cent of which were part timers. A minimal increase of 2.4 per cent was registered in 2004 regarding the number of part time employees. 68.1percent of all employees were male in 2003 decreasing slightly to 67.4 per cent in 2004. The report said, “when analysed by grade, the prevalence of female employment became significantly predominant, at 70.4per cent in the 'support staff' division, and with112femaleemployeesout a total of 159employees, this particularly applies within the EBU's sub-sector. This applies to both years and most of this female participation was on a part-time basis.
2003 recorded 394 PHD researchers whilst 403 were recorded in 2004. The majority of these researchers in 2003 and all of them in 2004 were scientists and engineers at the University of Malta.

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