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Obama's anti-crisis plan has been approved by Congress even though various skepticisms have already been raised about its macroeconomic effects in the medium and long term. According to the Congressional Budget Office, these interventions will grow GDP between 1.4% and 3.8% in 2009 and between 1.1% and 3.3% in 2010 while creating 4 million jobs. These values could also be revised upwards in the event of a rapid start-up of construction sites for school construction and infrastructure. From 2011, the positive effects should diminish given that the growing public debt will make US debt more convenient for private investors, creating a crowding-out effect and, above all, will require a probable return towards greater fiscal rigor and a more restrictive monetary policy. By then, however, the US locomotive should have recovered and be able to run on its own without further state aid. A careful reading of the shot in the arm to the US economy, in any case, demonstrates how Barak Obama has not thought only of the present having decided to allocate a further 11 billion dollars to research. It is as if the president, at least in this specific area, wanted to continue the path taken by the previous administration which in 2006 launched the American Competiveness Initiative. In order to preserve the country's scientific leadership, it was decided to increase funds for basic research with particular attention to medicine, alternative energy and nanotechnologies. The effects, at least in monetary terms, have been seen. In 2008, the federal research budget was $147 billion, 61% more than in 2001. Half of these funds went to key research organizations such as the National Science Foundation, NASA and the National Institute for Health. The aim was also to correct the negative trend of researchers and university students of science subjects since, according to the OECD, in 2005 only 15% of US graduates had obtained a university science degree compared to 25% in Japan and 40% in South Korea and China. Already starting from an excellent basis if compared to the European situation, in his anti-crisis plan Barak Obama has assigned another 1.2 billion dollars each to the National Science Foundation and NASA. The first, with a hefty starting budget of about $6 billion, will use the funds to fund new research projects in mathematics, computer science and the social sciences. NASA, on the other hand, will mainly enhance its participation in the International Space Station program and continue to manage the post-Shuttle era. Another organization that benefits from the anti-crisis plan with 250 million dollars is the National Institute for Standards and Technology (Nist), the federal body with tasks of standardization but also of basic research. In the field of alternative energies, an additional $4.6 billion has been awarded to the research laboratories of the Department of Energy. To all this we must add the other 2 billion dollars for the National Institute of Health, one of the main engines of medical research in the world. Even in times of crisis, research remains a priority for Obama. But these interventions also want to be a strong signal to entrepreneurs who, although under great pressure, must think about maintaining their technological competitiveness in the long term. After all, it was they who in 2007, when the signs of the current economic crisis were still weak, spent around 208 billion dollars on applied research, making the United States a world leader in innovation. * Research Director-Italy RAND Europe

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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco