Glossary:R & D intensity


Research and development (R & D) intensity for a country is defined as the R & D expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).

For an enterprise, R & D intensity is the ratio of a firm's R & D investment to its revenue (the percentage of revenue that is reinvested in R & D). R & D is the main driver of innovation, and R & D expenditure and intensity are two of the key indicators used to monitor resources devoted to science and technology worldwide. Governments are increasingly referring to international benchmarks when defining their science polices and allocating resources.

The European Union (EU) is currently lagging behind both the USA and Japan in terms of expenditure on R & D as a proportion of GDP, primarily due to slow relative growth in business R & D expenditure. The European Council set an overall target of 3 % of GDP by the year 2010, with industry asked to contribute two thirds of this objective.

Related concepts

Statistical data

Source