By Maximilian Clarke

A reform of Greece’s outdated research and development (R&D) system would create significant long-term improvements to the country’s economy and social situation, the RAND Corporation has said.

The US-based global policy think-tank was commissioned by Greece’s Ministry of Education and the Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs department to help identify a sustainable policy of reform to boost R&D in the economically beleaguered country.

Reform, the Corporation identified, is needed and should be implemented as soon as possible before further threats undermine innovation and growth. Economic troubles have been worsening since 2007 and currently is declining by 2% per annum. Swift and coherent reform that encourages research will pave the way to a more stable and productive economy.

"It is clear to us that developing a vibrant innovation ecosystem within Greece is critical to future economic development and growth," said RAND Corp’s Jonathan Grant, a co-author of the report.

The Greek research and development system is dependent upon public expenditure and has an unusually large proportion of funding from the European Commission. Irrespective of these efforts, Greece still has very low overall levels of public and private investment in R&D, according to the report.

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