EU governments increased R&D allocations by 5% in 2022 – Products Eurostat News

In 2022, the total government budget allocations for R&D (GBARD) across the EU stood at €117 368 million, equivalent to 0.74% of GDP. This was a 5.4% increase compared with 2021 (€111 393 million) and a 49.2% increase compared with 2012 (€78 656 million).

This information comes from data on government budget allocations for R&D (GBARD) published by Eurostat today. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.

Bar chart: government budget allocations for R&D, 2022, € per person

Source dataset: gba_nabsfin07

In 2022, government budget allocations for R&D at the EU level stood at €262.7 per person, a 47.2% increase compared with 2012 (€178.5 per person). The highest allocations were recorded in Luxembourg (€661.6 per person), followed at a distance by Denmark (€529.1) and Germany (€517.6).

On the other hand, EU countries with the lowest R&D budget allocations per person were Romania (€17.6 per person), Bulgaria (€27.3) and Latvia (€49.6). 

Between 2012 and 2022, all EU governments increased their budget allocations for R&D in terms of € per person. The largest percentage increases were recorded in Latvia (+208% from €16.1 per person in 2012 to €49.6 in 2022) and Greece (+129% from €66.0 to €151.2). Sweden registered the lowest percentage increase in this reference period (+4% from €377.7 to €391.6). 

General University funds receive almost 36% of allocated budgets for R&D

Statistics on GBARD provide an insight into the different public R&D funding activities and are linked to policy issues by means of classification by “objectives” or “goals” (NABS 2007).

In 2022, the biggest share of the government budget allocations for R&D, namely 35.5%, was directed to the general advancement of knowledge financed in a large majority by a public block grant known as public general university funds (GUF), which many public higher education institutions receive to support all their activities. Next, the allocation of 16.5% of the GBARD was earmarked for the general advancement of knowledge from other sources than GUF, followed by 10.2% to industrial production and technology, 8.3% to health and 5.9% to exploration and exploitation of space. 

Although the most representative objectives in 2022 are the same as in 2021, a significant increase was observed in defence, from 2.6% in the previous year to 4.2% in 2022.

Pie chart: distribution of government budget allocations for R&D by NABS, 2022 (% share)

Source dataset: gba_nabsfin07

R&D is crucial to many European and national-level policies that aim to increase the competitiveness of the EU’s economies and the welfare of its citizens. R&D was put forward as a driving theme in the Political Guidelines for the next European Commission from 2019 to 2024.