Brussels, 08 Dec 2004
Despite revealing a rise in research and development (R&D) expenditure of four per cent in 2003, the latest figures from Statistics Finland suggest that overall research investment in the country is set to decrease in 2004.
In 2003, in absolute terms, Finland invested just over five billion euro in R&D. Based on the latest data supplied by business enterprises and public sector organisations, this figure will fall slightly to 4.97 billion euro in 2004.
The underlying cause of this trend is thought to be the electronics industry, which contributes more than 50 per cent of overall business research spending in Finland. In 2003, this sector increased its research investment by 230 million euro, which helped to offset an 80 million euro decline in R&D spending across the rest of the private sector, to leave a net increase of 150 million euro.
In 2004, however, the Finnish electronics industry cut back its research spending, contributing to a predicted decrease in total business R&D investment of 100 million euro. Public sector investments are also predicted to fall by around 10 million euro in 2004, but an increase in university research spending of some 50 million euro will help to mitigate the decline.
In overall terms, these trends will see the proportion of GDP spent on research in Finland fall from a high of 3.52 per cent in 2003 to 3.37 per cent in 2004. This is still well above the EU average of 1.95 per cent, and second only to Sweden (with 4.3 per cent) among all OECD countries.
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