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R&D expenditure nearly stable at just over 2% of GDP

Nov 30, 2016 | News

(30 November 2016) – In 2015, the Member States of the European Union spent all together almost €300 billion on Research & Development (R&D). The R&D intensity, i.e. R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP, stood at 2.03% in 2015, compared with 2.04% in 2014. Ten years ago (2005), R&D intensity was 1.74%.

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With respect to other major economies, R&D intensity in the EU was much lower than in South Korea (4.29% in 2014) and Japan (3.59% in 2014) and lower than in the United States (2.73% in 2013), while it was about the same level as in China (2.05% in 2014) and much higher than in Russia (1.13%).

In 2015, the highest R&D intensities were recorded in Sweden (3.26%), Austria (3.07%) and Denmark (3.03%), all with R&D expenditure above 3% of GDP, closely followed by Finland (2.90%) and Germany (2.87%).

The business enterprise sector continues to be the main sector in which R&D expenditure was spent, accounting for 64% of total R&D conducted in 2015, followed by the higher education sector (23%), the government sector (12%) and the private non-profit sector (1%).

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