R&D is a major driver of innovation, and R&D expenditure and intensity are two of the key indicators used to monitor resources devoted to science and technology worldwide.
In 2016, the Member States of the European Union (EU) spent all together over €300 billion on Research & Development (R&D). The R&D intensity, i.e. R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP, remained stable at 2.03%
in 2016. Ten years ago (2006), R&D intensity was 1.76%.
With respect to other major economies, R&D intensity in the EU was much lower than in South Korea (4.23% in 2015), Japan (3.29% in 2015) and the United States (2.79% in 2015), while it was about the same level as in China (2.07% in 2015) and much higher than in Russia (1.10% in 2015) and Turkey (0.88% in 2015). In order to provide a stimulus to the EU’s competitiveness, an increase by 2020 of the R&D intensity to 3% in the EU is one of the five headline targets of the Europe 2020 strategy.
The business enterprise sector continues to be the main sector in which R&D expenditure was spent, accounting for 65% of total R&D conducted in 2016, followed by the higher education sector (23%), the government sector (112%) and the private non-profit sector (1%).
This information on Research and Development in the EU is published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.