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Young scientists wanted

More children are to be attracted into science and engineering with a new package of measures launched on Thursday.

Economics Minister Doris Leuthard told a conference of businesspeople and education experts in Basel that despite the importance Switzerland attaches to innovation, it lags behind its main rivals in the number of scientists and engineers it produces.

She listed several new measures aimed at closing the gap.

These include "project days" designed to arouse children's interest in science, awareness-raising among teachers, and more time for science and technology in the school timetable.

In addition, a new science and technology website aimed at children aged 12-16 is to be launched.

The economics ministry will support the initiatives by promoting contacts between the parties involved and publicising good practice.