GDP invested in R&D in relation to EU 2020 target (3%)

Definition. The EU2020 Strategy underlines the essential role of research and development (R&D). The indicator is the percentage of GDP expended on R&D, commonly known with the acronym GERD (General Expenditure on R&D). It measures the resources devoted by a particular territory to R&D, including public and private expenditures. The EU2020 Strategy sets the headline target of bringing GERD to 3% of GDP by 2020.

Key facts at European level. In context, the EU is below other developed countries and ahead of the developing countries. In general, the regions surpassing the target are located in Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, the UK, Austria, France and Denmark. In any case, the majority of the studied regions do not achieve the 3% target. Especially regions lagging behind are mainly not only located in Eastern Europe, but also in Southern parts of Italy, Portugal and Spain; other individual regions show particularly dire scores: Galicia, the Scottish Highlands, etc. Some areas invest less than 0.2% of GDP in R&D, especially in Bulgaria, Poland and Romania, extending to non-EU regions. Although it is unlikely that all of them reach 3%, those regions ranking so poorly should be especially targeted. Research is important for all regions, whether they currently be leaders or not.