The Malta Independent 20 January 2019, Sunday

Expenditure in R&D doubles, but remains unchanged as percentage of GDP – Eurostat

Friday, 11 January 2019, 10:13 Last update: about 9 days ago

Total spending on research and development (R&D) in Malta almost doubled over the years from 2007 to 2017, bringing the total expenditure up from €32 million to €61 million, but this still meant that the amount spent as a % of GDP remained the same at 0.55%.

In a report published on Thursdays, Eurostat noted that the total R&D expenditure in the EU increased slightly to 2.07% of GDP in 2017, with the total spending reaching almost €320 billion when all Member States of the European Union (EU) are taken into consideration.


A rise from 2007 and 2016, when spending stood at 1.77% and 2.04% of GDP respectively for the EU as a collective bloc.

When compared to other major economies, the EU saw lower spending in terms of % of GDP, particularly with South Korea, Japan and the United states which saw an R&D intensity of 4.22%, 3.28%, and 2.76% respectively.

The EU has targeted an increase to 3% by 2020 in order to provide a stimulus to the EU’s competitiveness.

Malta’s 0.55% is a ways off the 2.07% average, leaving the nation close to the bottom of the table with only Latvia (0.51%) and Romania (0.5%) trailing slightly behind.

The €61 million, or 0.55%, spent on R&D is further split into 3 other sectors of performance – business enterprise, government, and higher education. These splits stood at 66%, 2%, and 32% in 2007, and now stand at 62%, 1%, and 36% for business enterprise, government, and higher education respectively.

The observable shift was a move into the further funding of higher education by 4%, leaving 1% not accounted for due to the rounding of the data.

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