Economy, Sci & Tech

Iran's SciTech Research Budget to Get a Boost

Last year $1.8 billion was earmarked for R&D. For this fiscal year the amount is $2.3 billion.
Last year $1.8 billion was earmarked for R&D. For this fiscal year the amount is $2.3 billion.

In President Hassan Rouhani’s budget for the next fiscal that was presented to the Majlis last week, science and technology are likely to get a boost, according to initial reports.

The overall budget of the special Presidential Office for Science and Technology will see a 20% increase next year (starts in March 2017),  the deputy for management and resource development, Alireza Daliri, said at the weekend.

Funding for the science and technology office is divided into two parts. The regular office budget—which will see a 10-12% increase compared to this year—and special funds for research and technology, IRNA reported.

Daliri said “the research budget is for implementing general policies in the areas related to science and technology and implementing  executive plans that will enable the manufacturing of products.”

This spending plan, he added, is in line with Resistance Economy -- a set of recommendations by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei to reduce dependence on oil exports and boost local manufactures.

The budget for research was increased following new responsibilities communicated to the Management and Planning Organization.

In the current year’s (started in March 2016) budget, 70 trillion rials ($1.8 billion) was earmarked for this sector. The amount is 90 trillion rials ($2.3 billion) for the next fiscal.

Accordingly, the MPO is  responsible for allocating the funds among national scientific committees, National Elites Foundation, Iran National Science Foundation, Iran National Space Administration, Pardis Science and Technology Park and the National Innovation and Prosperity Fund.

Money will be made available also for R&D for the pharmaceutical sector, air pollution research, developing research vessels and completing the Iran National Observatory.

Moreover, the proposed budget bill stipulates that part of the funds will be used to settle international debts of research centers, supplement the construction of research facilities and help attract international students.

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