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The Structure of Research Funding in Germany, the Netherlands and England (UK)

Abstract This chapter examines the research systems of England (UK), the Netherlands and Germany from a competition law perspective; thereby conducting the groundwork for the empirical study in Chap. 5. Each country is explored in a separate subchapter discussing the general funding streams and research conducting entities before focussing more specifically on research in HEIs. The systems investigated differ in a variety of ways from the general national expenditure on research and the overall character of the systems to the importance of individual sectors and the extent to which the recent trend of commodification has influenced the research systems. As regards research in HEIs, the importance of competitive factors in funding allocation has increased in all three systems, but it plays by far the most significant role in England where competitive factors even play a major role in generic research funding allocation. The growing importance in non-generic funding is associated with a variety of concerns, most significantly with threats to academic freedom and budget constraints due to matching requirements as non-generic funding is not always provided at full cost levels. The country specific subchapters will be followed by a tentative competition law analysis. It will be shown that differentiation between non-economic research, which does not fall under competition law, and research services, which do, is more difficult than it may appear, since this line can be fluid. However, the more economically oriented the system, the more frequently this may happen. If an activity does fall under competition law, potential tensions in all three systems could arise from this with national research policies on HEIs.

Keywords Research policy in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany • Universities in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany • Research funding • Research as a statutory task • Full costing of research • Research and EU competition law • Research and state aid • Academic freedom

© t.m.c. asser press and the author 2017 115

A. Gideon, Higher Education Institutions in the EU: Between Competition and Public Service, Legal Issues of Services of General Interest, DOI 10.1007/978-94-6265-168-5_4

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