Stats Gate

Top 10 European Countries with The Largest Investments in Research and Development

Sweden, Austria, and Germany invest higher amounts of money in research and development compared to other European countries, according to recent data. It is worth mentioning that Greece improved its position among the member states of the European Union, in terms of investing money in research and development.

Sweden leads the list of European countries with the highest expenditure on research and development. According to recent data referring to Sweden, the share of research and development expenditure on GDP is 3.32%, the highest among the European countries.

Next comes at the list Austria. With the share of research and development expenditure on GDP being 3.17%, Austria took second place. Germany took third place on the list with the country’s share of research and development expenditure on GDP registered at 3.13%.

Denmark and Belgium complete the top 5 of the European countries with the highest expenditure on research and development. In Denmark (4th place on the list) the share of research and development expenditure on GDP is 3.03%. At the same time, in Belgium (5th place on the list) the share of research and development expenditure on GDP is 2.76%.

Closely follows Finland. The country’s share of research and development expenditure on GDP is 2.75% according to recent data. Thus, Finland comes to 6th place on the list. France took 7th place on the list. The country’s share of research and development expenditure on GDP is 2.20%. The Netherlands comes next, with the country’s share of research and development expenditure on GDP being 2.16%.

Slovenia and the Czech Republic (Czechia) complete the top 10 European countries with the highest expenditure on research and development. Slovenia’s share of research and development expenditure on GDP is 1.95% while Czechia’s share of research and development expenditure on GDP is 1.93%.

It is worth mentioning that Greece improved its position on the list. More specifically, holds 16th place and precedes countries such as Spain, Luxemburg, and Ireland. The percentage of research and development expenditures on GDP in 2019 for Greece stood at 1.27%, from 1.21% in 2018, continuing the upward trend of recent years.

In 2019, expenditures were made in Greece for research and development activities amounting to 2,336.58 billion euros, which increased by 157.27 million euros. This means an increase in the relative percentage by 7.2% compared to 2018.

The significant increase in research and development spending in 2019 resulted in an increase in employment in respective sectors of activity. The number of Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs), which give full-time positions, compared to 2018, increased by 6.9% for the total staff in research and development and by 9.3% for researchers. The total staff in research and development in 2019 amounted to 54,833 full-time (FTE) positions and researchers to 40,084 FTE. The largest increase is recorded in the field of higher education.

Regarding the sources of funding for research and development expenditures (2019), an amount of 972.61 million euros (41.6% of the total), came from companies. Most of the corporate financing, 896.78 million euros, was invested in research and development activities carried out by the companies themselves.

Also were funded research and development activities in higher education (€ 56.35 million), in the public sector (€ 17.24 million) and in private non-profit institutions (€ 2.24 million).

The state is the second source of funding with € 949.58 million (40.6% of the total). The sources include the regular budget, the national part of the Public Investment Program, and the NSRF 2014-2020.

The countries lagging behind in research and development spending are Bulgaria, Latvia, Malta, Cyprus, and Romania. For example, Bulgaria’s share of research and development expenditure on GDP is 0,76% according to recent data. Lower is Latvia’s share of research and development expenditure on GDP (0,64%). Furthermore, Malta’s share of research and development expenditure on GDP is 0,57%, Cyprus is 0,55%, and Romania’s 0,50%.

Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at maria-gourtsilidou@ceoworld.biz.
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