Targeted or Networked funding?

In an interview with Dr. Len Fischer, available in the video bellow, indicates that perhaps its best to invest funding in research networks instead of targeted research.


Of course I see the point that non-targeted research would yield, since most discoveries are accidental, like penicillin, PCR, microwave among others (see the video below).


But should one put all the eggs into one basket alone? Sure targeted research gives a sense of long-term aim that the funding bodies would like to achieve, of course on the way serendipity might happen as well, even though I do not have an example for targeted research funding.

Some recent targeted research here in Brazil, are the one related to study Zika virus (funded by FAPESP), and fhosphoethanolamine efficiency against cancer (funded by MCTI). The National Strategies in Science and Technology for the years 2016-2019, are defined in this document, which hasn't changed much in the recent years. These actions should provide our nation with sustainable development, are aimed at aerospace and defense; water; foods; biomass and bio-economy; social sciences and technologies; climate; digital economy and society; energy; nuclear; health; and converging and enabling technologies. I believe these last ones are examples of networked funding, one can only be sure when the future calls will be available.

For now, I like the term networked funding, the only question is who is this network, or how can one implement a system to detect the network of research groups within each of these topics? But, basic research should still be funded, just for the pure sake, as reported by the biologist Sheila Patek in the video below.

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