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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

01 Dec 2015

Eurostat: R&D expenditure in EU stable at slightly over 2% of GDP in 2014

According Eurostat, the EU's statistical office, the EU Member States spent all together around €283 billion on Research & Development (R&D) in 2014. R&D intensity (R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP) was 2.03% in 2014, the same as in 2013. Ten years ago (2004), R&D intensity was 1.76%. These statistical figures were published by Eurostat on 30 November 2015. In order enhance the EU’s competitiveness, the EU has set itself the target of increasing R&D intensity to 3% in the EU by 2020 as one of the five headline targets of its Europe 2020 Strategy.

Compared to other major economies, R&D intensity in the EU was much lower than in South Korea (4.15% in 2013) and Japan (3.47% in 2013) and lower than in the United States (2.81% in 2012), while it was about the same level as in China (2.08% in 2013) and higher than in Russia (1.15%).

Broken down by sector in the EU, the business enterprise sector accounts for 64% of total R&D expenditure, the higher education sector for 23%, the government sector for 12% and the private non-profit sector for 1%.

When comparing the EU Member States individually, the R&D intensity in 2014 was highest in Finland (3.17%), Sweden (3.16%) and Denmark (3.08%), closely followed by Austria (2.99%) and Germany (2.84%). In nine Member States, R&D intensity was below 1%: Romania (0.38%), Cyprus (0.47%), Latvia (0.68%), Croatia (0.79%), Bulgaria (0.80%), Greece (0.83%), Malta (0.85%), Slovakia (0.89%) and Poland (0.94%). While R&D intensity increased in most Member States compared to 2004, it decreased in Croatia (from 1.03% to 0.79%), Luxembourg (from 1.62% to 1.24%), Finland (from 3.31% to 3.17%) and Sweden (from 3.39% to 3.16%), and remained stable in Romania.

With the exception of Estonia, Greece, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania, the main sector in which R&D was performed in 2014 was the business enterprise sector, with the highest shares of business sector R&D expenditure in Slovenia (77%), Ireland (73%), Hungary (72%), Belgium and Austria (both 71%), Germany and Finland (both 68%), Sweden (67%), Bulgaria and France (both 65%), Denmark and the United Kingdom (both 64%). .

The country with the highest share of R&D expenditure in the government sector was Romania (43%), followed at a distance by Luxembourg (29%), Slovakia (28%), Greece (27%), Croatia (26%), Bulgaria (25%), Latvia and Poland (both 24%). The highest shares of R&D conducted within the higher education sector were recorded in Cyprus and Lithuania (both 53%), Portugal (45%), Estonia (44%), Latvia (41%) and Greece (38%).

For more information:

Eurostat News Release

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