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Statistics in Focus: Research and development in the European Union

As part of its "Statistics in Focus" series, the Statistical Office of the European Commission (EUROSTAT) has published its latest bulletin on "Research and development in the European Union". The bulletin presents an overview of research and development activities in the Mem...

As part of its "Statistics in Focus" series, the Statistical Office of the European Commission (EUROSTAT) has published its latest bulletin on "Research and development in the European Union". The bulletin presents an overview of research and development activities in the Member States, providing data relating to government R&D appropriations, R&D personnel and R&D expenditures. Some of the data is presented at regional level, allowing the reader to compare differences between the regions of the EU with respect to R&D. The data shows that total R&D expenditures in the EEA have increased by 12% in real terms since 1987, but have decreased when expressed as a percentage of GDP. Allocations to R&D as a percentage of GDP differ substantially between Member States. France and Sweden allocate the most from State budgets to R&D, whilst Greece and Ireland allocate the least. Vast increases in R&D allocations, between 1985 and 1995, were recorded in Norway, Portugal and Finland. In the same period appropriations fell markedly in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Over 2.1 million people were employed in research and development in 1996, an increase of almost 14% since 1987. Over 60% of R&D was performed in the business enterprise sector. The higher education sector is responsible for a bit more than half the rest and the government sector for the rest.

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