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Research and innovation

EU R&D intensity: A Case Study


23. kesäkuuta 2021
Vastaava osasto
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation


The EU case study is part of OECD´s R&D intensity project that collected country policy experiences with R&D intensity targets over time. It aimed to explore how and why R&D targets were set and monitored, and discuss as well the caveats and limitations associated with them especially in a fast-moving landscape.

Although the EU has not fulfilled its R&D investment ambition, the 3% target has proven to have had a clear mobilising effect as almost all Member States have set their own national targets. At the EU level, the main policy initiative supporting the achievement of Europe 2020 Strategy, including the 3% R&D target, is the European Semester. Some limitations of R&D intensity as an indicator include i) the role of R&D in low and medium technology sectors tends to be underestimated, ii) R&D is concentrated in a small number of firms, sectors and/or regions but the aggregate R&D measure does not capture this trend; iii) Service innovation is not captured by indicators that are readily available.

With the new European Research Area (ERA) Communication, the Commission proposes to support Member States in the coordination and prioritisation of national R&I funding and reforms, between countries and with the EU, through dialogue and a dedicated ERA Forum for Transition. This will focus Member States common efforts, to voluntarily commit 5% of national public R&D funding to joint programmes and European partnerships by 2030. In doing so, this target aims at further stimulating the knowledge flows and collaborations across European stakeholders and boost innovation diffusion.

Coordinated by Ruzica Rakic (DG RTD), Ana Correia (DG RTD), Julien Ravet (DG RTD), and with the involvement of many other colleagues across DG RTD


22. KESÄKUUTA 2021
EU R&D intensity: A Case Study
(1.86 MB - PDF)