From: Sustainable development - Socioeconomic development
Research and development expenditure
EU spending on research and development remains far from the target value of 3 % of GDP in 2010
- R & D expenditure far from target path
The share of R & D spending as a percentage of GDP remained at about 1.8 % over the period 2000 to 2007. R & D expenditure has thus made no significant progress towards the target of 3 % of GDP set for 2010. At 1.85 % in 2007, this share is below the OECD average of 2.3 %; and both the USA and Japan (at 2.3 % and 2.1 % respectively) devote higher shares of their budgets to R & D (2006 data).
Although most Member States have set national targets, these are rarely translated into budgetary reality, and only Finland and Sweden exceed the 3 % target. In 2007, as in the past, Sweden led with a share of 3.6 % which also gives it a high ranking globally. It was closely followed by Finland with 3.5 %. Austria, Denmark and Germany stood at about 2.5 %. However while Denmark and Germany have only made marginal increases in R & D spending, Austria, on the other hand, increased it spending relative to GDP by 0.6 percentage points. It is Estonia which raised its share the most from 0.6 % to 1.1 % and the largest decline took place in Slovakia where R&D budget was reduced by 0.2 percentage points from 2000 to 2007. Besides Slovakia eight other Member States decreased their contribution over this period.