Cyprus is ranking low on RandD intensity in the EU

In 2017, the Member States of the European Union (EU) spent all together almost Euros 320 billion on Research and Development (RandD), according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.

The RandD intensity, i.e. RandD expenditure as a percentage of GDP, stood at 2.07% in 2017, compared with 2.04% in 2016. Ten years earlier (2007), RandD intensity was 1.77%.

Cyprus in 2017 has spent 109 million euro on RandD (70 in 2007) and increased its RandD intensity to 0.56% of GDP (from 0.4% in 2007). This is the 4th lowest score in the EU.

With respect to other major economies, RandD intensity in the EU was much lower than in South Korea (4.22% in 2015), Japan (3.28% in 2015) and the United States (2.76% in 2015), while it was at about the same level as in China (2.06% in 2015) and much higher than in Russia (1.1% in 2015) and Turkey (0.96%).

In order to provide a stimulus to the EU’s competitiveness, an increase by 2020 of the RandD intensity to 3% in the EU is one of the five headline targets of the Europe 2020 strategy.

The business enterprise sector continues to be the main sector in which RandD expenditure was spent, accounting for 66% of total RandD disbursed in 2017, followed by the higher education sector (22%), the government sector (11%) and the private non-profit sector (1%).

In 2017, the highest RandD intensities were recorded in Sweden (3.33%) and Austria (3.16%), followed by Denmark (3.06%) and Germany (3.02%), all with RandD expenditure above 3% of GDP, whilst Finland (2.76%), Belgium (2.58%) and France (2.25% in 2016) registered RandD expenditure between 2.0% and 3.0% of GDP. At the opposite end of the scale, eight Member States recorded a RandD intensity below 1%: Romania (0.5%), Latvia (0.51%), Malta (0.55%), Cyprus (0.56%), Bulgaria (0.75%), Croatia (0.86%), Lithuania and Slovakia (both 0.88%).

Over the last ten years, RandD intensity rose in twenty-one Member States, with the highest increases in Austria (from 2.42% in 2007 to 3.16% in 2017, or +0.74 percentage points – pp) and Belgium (from 1.84% in 2007 to 2.58% in 2017, or +0.74 pp). Conversely, RandD intensity decreased in six Member States and most strongly in Finland (-0.59 pp) and Luxembourg (-0.33 pp). In Malta, RandD intensity remained at the level of 0.55%.

The main sector in which RandD was performed in 2017 was the business enterprise sector in all Member States, except Cyprus and Latvia (where the higher education sector was the dominant performing sector) and Lithuania (where the share of higher education sector was the same as of business enterprise sector).

The highest shares of RandD expenditure performed in the business enterprise sector were observed in Slovenia (75%), Hungary (73%), Ireland and Sweden (both 71%), Bulgaria and Austria (both 70%), Germany (69%), Belgium and the United Kingdom (both 68%).

For the government sector, the highest shares were registered in Romania (32%), Lithuania (28%), Luxembourg and Latvia (both 26%). The highest shares of RandD conducted within the higher education sector were recorded in Latvia (47%), Portugal (43%), Cyprus (42%) and Estonia (40%).

Source: Cyprus News Agency