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Education, R&D and innovation

Highly skilled human capital, investment in research and development, market conditions conducive to innovation, and faster take-up of new technologies are critical factors for Europe's future wealth. DG ECFIN analyses the importance of these factors for economic growth and investigates the role of key reforms in these areas with the aim of improving their contribution to economic performance.

Europe's future wealth and competitive position in the globalised world depends increasingly on its ability to create and absorb knowledge. Long-term economic growth in Europe rests with its capacity to increase productivity through rapid technological progress. So, Europe needs more highly skilled workers, more investment in research and development (R&D) and innovation, and innovation-friendly market conditions.

DG ECFIN assists the European Commission's work on reforms in these crucial areas by providing economic expertise with a view to integrating education, R&D and innovation policies into the broader economic framework. DG ECFIN analyses the innovation performance of the EU and of individual Member States and investigates the role of key reforms in this respect. Major issues in this context are: the role of competition for innovation; the importance of a well-balanced system of intellectual property rights; and issues concerning the effectiveness and efficiency of public spending in support of R&D and education.  

The main areas of activity are:

  • The analysis of the impact of product market reforms on innovation and their ultimate effect on productivity and growth;
  • The analysis of the effectiveness and efficiency of public spending in support of R&D and education.

Some of DG ECFIN’s analytical work in this field can be seen in the series of publications listed in the right-hand margin.