Azara Blog: EU is not anywhere near meeting its R&D spending target

Blog home page | Blog archive

Google   Bookmark and Share

Date published: 2007/06/12

The BBC says:

The European Union's vision of building a hi-tech economy could be left in the dirt if businesses do not spend more on research and development (R&D).

That is the conclusion of a European Commission report comparing R&D in the EU with that of its competitors.

Europe will be outdone by China, Japan and South Korea unless EU member states take urgent action, it says.

The report says boosting R&D spend is essential if Europe's economy is to remain competitive in the future.

It sought to make Europe "the most competitive and the most dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world" by 2010.

Key to this vision was boosting investment in R&D to 3% of GDP by that same deadline. But Europe looks set to miss this objective.

The report, which contains new data on Europe and its main competitors, says that R&D intensity (R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP) in Europe has stagnated since the mid-1990s.

At the same time, Japan, China or South Korea have been able to increase substantially their R&D effort.
The European Commission says that differences in the industrial structure of the EU compared with countries such as the US are the main cause for this low level of business R&D spend.

The EU has a smaller high-tech industrial sector, that area of the economy which usually spends most on R&D.

The article's statement that "Europe looks set to miss this [ the 3%] objective" is a bit of an understatement. The current level is around 1.8% and has been the same for the last ten and more years. The EU is not poor yet, but it might well be in future.

All material not included from other sources is copyright For further information or questions email: info [at] cambridge2000 [dot] com (replace "[at]" with "@" and "[dot]" with ".").