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  • The future of R&D in services: implications for EU research and innovation policy, A Report Commissioned by the Science and Technology Foresight Unit of DG Research


Services have become major players in the knowledge-based economy. But what does the increasing share of services in industrial mean for innovation? After all, the Lisbon Objectives set the goal of the EU’s becoming the world’s most dynamic and competitive knowledge economy - which must have a great deal to do with innovation. Services used to be thought of as non-innovative, but research over the last ten years has clearly demonstrated that many services sectors are highly innovative. (Though many services do appear to put less effort into innovation than many manufacturing sectors.)
What is more, the Barcelona targets (from the 2002 Barcelona European Council) proposed a substantial increase in industrial Research and Development (R&D). Service sectors of the economy contribute substantially less to industrial R&D than would be expected purely on the basis of their share of the economy. So what does the growth of the services sectors mean for the Barcelona targets? What is the future or services’ R&D? And what are the implications of this for innovation in services, and more generally?
The urgency behind these questions is reinforced by concerns about competitiveness. It appears that US services’ R&D is growing substantially faster than that in the EU. The OECD’s comparative data suggest that US non-manufacturing R&D was some 35% of the total at the beginning of the twenty-first century, while the figure of the EU15 was around 15%. Even if US services are still underperforming in terms of R&D as compared to their economic strength, the figure is so substantially higher in the US as to give rise to concerns about whether EU services are liable to be losing their competitive edge.

Additional information

Authors: No author stated, European Commission, DG Research, Brussels (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 21959 EN (2006), 73 pp. free of charge
Availability: (Catalogue Number: KI-NA-21959-EN-C)
ISBN: ISBN 92-79-01209-6
Record Number: 200618602 / Last updated on: 2006-06-22
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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