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R&D expenditure in the EU27 stable at 1.85% of GDP in 2007

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Research and DevelopmentIn 2007, the EU27 spent 229 billion euro on Research & Development (R&D). R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP equalled 1.85% in 2007, stable compared with 2006. Germany (62 bn euro), France (39 bn) and the United Kingdom (37 bn) accounted together for 60% of total R&D expenditure in the EU27 in 2007.

Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, publishes the 2009 edition of Science, Technology and Innovation in Europe. This publication covers a wide range of indicators in line with the strategic goals set out by the European Council in the Lisbon strategy. These indicators include among others R&D expenditure and personnel, patents, innovation and other indicators related to high-tech and knowledge intensive sectors of the economy. A selection of the data available in the publication is presented below.

Highest R&D intensity in the Nordic Member States, Austria and Germany

In 2007, R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP (R&D intensity) was highest in Sweden (3.60% of GDP) and Finland (3.47%), followed by Austria (2.56%), Denmark (2.55%) and Germany (2.54%), and lowest in Cyprus (0.45%), Slovakia (0.46%), Bulgaria (0.48%) and Romania (0.53%). The highest increases in R&D intensity between 2001 and 2007 were found in Austria (from 2.07% of GDP to 2.56%), Estonia (from 0.71% to 1.14%) and Portugal (from 0.80% to 1.18%).

The equivalents of 2.3 million persons working full-time were involved in R&D in the EU27 in 2007. R&D personnel accounted for 1.6% of total employment in 2007. The highest proportions of R&D personnel in 2007 were found in Finland (3.2% of total employment), Sweden (2.7% in 2005), Luxembourg (2.6% in 2005), Denmark (2.4% in 2006) and Austria (2.1% in 2006), and the lowest in Romania (0.5%), Bulgaria (0.6% in 2006), Cyprus (0.7% in 2006), Poland (0.8%) and Portugal (0.9% in 2005).

Researchers accounted for 0.9% of total EU27 employment in 2007. This share varied from 0.3% in Romania (in 2005) to 2.1% in Finland.

Almost 40% of EU27 enterprises involved in innovation activities

Between 2004 and 2006, 39% of enterprises from industry and services with at least 10 employees in the EU27 were involved in some form of innovation activities. The highest proportion of enterprises involved in innovation activities in this period was recorded in Germany (63% of enterprises), followed by Belgium (52%), Austria and Finland (both 51%) and Luxembourg (49%). The lowest rates were observed in Latvia (16%), Bulgaria and Hungary (both 20%), Romania (21%) and Lithuania (22%) Malta stood at 28%.

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