(10 January 2019) – In 2017, the Member States of the European Union spent all together almost €320 billion on Research & Development (R&D).
The R&D intensity, i.e. R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP, stood at 2.07% in 2017, compared with 2.04% in 2016. Ten years earlier (2007), R&D intensity was 1.77%.
With respect to other major economies, R&D intensity in the EU was much lower than in South Korea (4.22% in 2015), Japan (3.28% in 2015) and the United States (2.76% in 2015), while it was at about the same level as in China (2.06% in 2015).
The business enterprise sector continues to be the main sector in which R&D expenditure was spent, accounting for 66% of total R&D disbursed in 2017, followed by the higher education sector (22%), the government sector (11%) and the private non-profit sector (1%).
In 2017, the highest R&D intensities were recorded in Sweden (3.33%) and Austria (3.16%), followed by Denmark (3.06%) and Germany (3.02%), all with R&D expenditure above 3% of GDP.