First preliminary results: Research & Development in the EU In relation to GDP, EU25 R&D expenditure stable at 1.9% in 2004 (link)

December 7, 2005

First preliminary results: Research & Development in the EU

  • In relation to GDP, EU25 R&D expenditure stable at 1.9% in 2004
  • In real terms, EU25 R&D expenditure grew by 1.3% per year between 2001 and 2004
In 20041 the EU25 spent nearly 200 billion euro on Research & Development (R&D). R&D intensity (i.e. expenditure as a percentage of GDP) in the EU25 stood at 1.90% compared to 1.92% in 2003. R&D intensity remained significantly lower in the EU25 than in other major economies. In 2003, R&D expenditure was 2.59% of GDP in the United States1, 3.15% in Japan, while it was 1.31% in China. R&D expenditure2 in the EU25 rose by 1.3% in real terms on average per year between 2001 and 2004, compared to -0.1% in the United States and +1.8% in Japan between 2001 and 2003.

In 2003 the business sector financed 54% of total EU25 R&D expenditure, while the shares of the business sector in the United States and Japan were 63% and 75% respectively.

The EU goals in Research and Development, as set by the Lisbon summit strategy, are to achieve by 2010 a R&D intensity of at least 3% for the EU as a whole, and to have two thirds of R&D expenditure financed by the business sector.

This information comes from Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. R&D intensity varies from 0.3% of GDP in Malta to 3.7% in Sweden

In 2004, the highest R&D intensities among the Member States were registered in Sweden (3.74% of GDP) and Finland (3.51%), followed by Denmark (2.63%), Germany (2.49%), Austria (2.26%) and France (2.16%). The lowest intensities were found in Malta (0.29%), Cyprus (0.37%), Latvia (0.42%) and Slovakia (0.53%).

Annual average growth rates of R&D expenditure over the period 2001 to 2004 ranged from +16% in Estonia, +15% in Cyprus, +12% in Lithuania and +10% in Spain (between 2001 and 2003) to -4% in Portugal (2001-2003) and -2% in Belgium, Slovakia and Sweden. Largest shares of R&D financed by business sector in Luxembourg, Finland, Germany and Sweden

The business sector finances the highest share of EU25 expenditure on R&D (54%), followed by the government sector (35%) and funding from abroad (9%). Among Member States, Luxembourg (80%) recorded the largest share of R&D expenditure financed by the business sector in 2003, followed by Finland (70%), Germany (66%), Sweden (65%), Denmark (61%) and Belgium (60%). Three Member States registered shares for the business sector of 20% or less: Lithuania (17%), Malta (19% in 2002) and Cyprus (20%).

Research and Development expenditure


R&D intensity,
R&D expenditure as% of GDP R&D expenditure1 R&D expenditure financed by business sector, as% of total
2001 2003 2004 2004
(mio euro) Annual average growth rate in real terms (%)
2001-2004 2003 EU25 1.93 1.92 1.90p 195 042p 1.3 54.3 Belgium 2.17 1.92 1.93p 5 465p -2.3 60.3 Czech Republic 1.22 1.26 1.28 1 100 4.5 51.5 Denmark 2.40 2.59 2.63p 5 112p 4.3 61.3 Germany 2.46 2.52 2.49p 55 100p 0.8 66.3 Estonia 0.73< td width="9.765625%" colspan="1" rowspan="1" valign="middle"> 0.82 0.91p 83p 15.6 33.0 Greece 0.64 0.62 0.58p 967p 1.1 30.7 Spain 0.92 1.05 : 8 213* 10.2 48.4 France 2.20 2.18 2.16p 35 648p 0.9 50.8 Ireland 1.12 1.16 1.20 1 780 7.3 59.1 Italy 1.11 1.14 : 14 769* 1.3 : Cyprus 0.26 0.35 0.37p 46p< /td> 15.2 19.8 Latvia 0.41 0.38 0.42 47 8.6 33.2 Lithuania 0.68 0.68 0.76 137 12.2 16.7 Luxembourg : 1.78 : 426* 3.6 80.4 Hungary 0.95 0.95 0.89 721 1.5 30.7 Malta : 0. 0.29p 12p 1.4 18.6** Netherlands 1.81 1.76 1.77p 8 657p -0.1 50.9 Austria 2.04 2.19p 2.26p 5 346p 5.1 43.9 Poland 0.64 0.56 0.58 1 139 0.4 30.3 Portugal 0.85 0.78 : 1 020* -4.3 31.7 Slovenia 1.56 1.54p 1.61p 418p 4.6 59.3 Slovakia 0.64 0.58 0.53 174 -1.8 45.1 Finland 3.38 3.48 3.51 5 253 4.0 70.0 Sweden 4. 3.98 3.74 10 426 -2.1 65.0 United Kingdom 1.89 1.88 : 30 092* 2.2 43.9 Bulgaria 0.47 0.50 0.51 99 8.2 26.8 Croatia : 1.14 : 292* 6.7 42.1 Romania 0.39 0.40 0.40 235 : 45.4 Turkey 0.72 0.66** : 1 280** -1.0 41.3** Iceland 3.08 2.97 3.01 297 1.7 43.9 Norway 1.60 1.75 : 3411* 5.2 49.2 China 1.07 1.31 : 16 444* : 60.1 Japan 3.07 3.15 : 119 748* 1.8 74.5 United States 2.71 2.59p : 251 577p* -0.1 63.1

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Item source: STAT/05/156 Date: 06/12/2005

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