Government budget allocations for R&D (GBARD)
Data extracted in July 2022.
Planned article update: January 2023.
In 2021, the total government budget allocations for R&D (GBARD) across the EU stood at €109 250 million, equivalent to 0.75% of GDP.
The government budget allocations for R&D at EU level stood at €244.3 per person in 2021, a 32.5% increase compared with 2011 (€184.4 per person).
Government budget allocations for research and development, 2011 - 2021
Statistics on Government Budget Allocations for R&D (GBARD) in the European Union provide users with data measuring government support to research and development (R&D) activities, and thereby inform about the priority governments give to different public R&D funding activities. GBARD covers not only government-financed R&D performed in government establishments but also government-financed R&D in the other three national sectors (business enterprise, private non-profit, higher education) as well as abroad. The data are compiled by national authorities using data collected from public budgets. This type of fund-based approach for reporting R&D involves identifying all the budget items that may support R&D activities and measuring or estimating their R&D content.
Research and Development (R&D) is central to many European and national level policies that aim to increase the competitiveness of the EU’s economies and the welfare of its citizens, and is a cross cutting subject relevant to the political priorities of the European Commission.
Total GBARD across the EU
In 2021, the total government budget allocations for R&D (GBARD) across the EU stood at €109 250 million (Table 1), equivalent to 0.75 % of GDP (Table 2).
The government budget allocations for R&D per person at EU level stood at €244.3 in 2021 (Table 3). The highest allocations were recorded in Luxembourg (€689.1 per person), followed at a distance by Denmark (€530.0 per person) and Germany (€470.9 per person). On the other hand, the EU countries with the lowest R&D budget allocations per person were Romania (€19.0 per person), Bulgaria (€24.1 per person), Latvia (€44.6 per person) and Hungary (€59.8 per person).
Evolution of GBARD in the EU during the 2011 - 2021 decade
GBARD figures for the 2011 - 2021 decade show an increase at EU level from €81 139 million to €109 250 million (Table 1), an increase of 34.6 %. GBARD almost tripled in Latvia (from 29.6 million to 84.3 million) and it more than doubled in Greece (from €648.5 million to €1 623.4 million), Malta (from €14.4 million to €35.3 million) and Luxembourg (from €208.8 million to €437.4 million). The total allocations almost doubled in Poland (from €1 175.1 million to €2 337.1 million) and Hungary (from €296.2 million to €582.2 million) and increased by more than 50 % in Bulgaria (+72.7 %), Estonia (+71.3 %) and Germany (+64.9 %). At the other end of the scale, with decreasing GBARD during the 2011 - 2021 decade, there were Portugal (-0.1 % from €780.0 to €779.0) and Spain (-0.4 % from €7 252.3 to €7 220.2).
GBARD figures as a percentage of GDP show a slight increase at EU level for the 2011 - 2021 decade (Figure 1), from 0.72 % of GDP in 2011 to 0.75 % of GDP in 2021. The GBARD as a percentage of GDP recorded a significant increase in three Member States, namely Greece (+0.57 percentage points), Germany (+0.22 percentage points) and Luxembourg (+0.13 percentage points). GBARD as a percentage of GDP recorded a negative growth in 14 Member States during the decade 2011 - 2021, with Ireland, Finland and Romania recording the highest decreases with -0.23 percentage points, -0.17 percentage points and -0.12 percentage points respectively.
As the changes in GBARD expressed as a percentage of the GDP can reflect a change in the GDP, it is useful to look at the changes in the allocations per capita as well. The government budget allocations for R&D per person increased by 32.5 % between 2011 and 2021 in the EU, from €184.4 to €244.3 per person. Over the last decade, the largest percentage increases in government budget allocations for R&D per person were recorded in Latvia (+212 %, from €14.3 in 2011 to €44.6 per person in 2021), Greece (+161 %, from €58.3 to €152 per person), Hungary (+101 %, from €29.7 to €59.8 per person) and Poland (+100 %, from €30.9 to €61.8 per person). In contrast, these allocations decreased in Spain (-2 %, from €155.4 to €152.3 per person).
GBARD by socioeconomic objectives (NABS 2007)
GBARD data are broken down by socio-economic objectives in accordance with the nomenclature for the analysis and comparison of scientific programmes and budgets (NABS 2007). Figure 2 presents the 2021 distribution of GBARD by socio-economic objective, where the most representative objectives were:
- General advancement of knowledge: R&D financed from general university funds (GUF): 35.9 %;
- General advancement of knowledge: R&D financed from other sources than GUF: 17.0 %;
- Industrial production and technology: 10.1 %;
- Health: 7.8 %;
- Exploration and exploitation of space: 5.6 %.
Although the most representative objectives in 2021 are the same as in 2020, a significant increase can be observed in Defence, from 2.3% in the previous year to 3.8% in 2021.
The socio-economic objective “General advancement of knowledge”, regardless of the sources of funds, represents more than 50 % of GBARD. Figure 3 shows a 21 % increase in the EU spending per inhabitant in the “Industrial production and technology” socio-economic objective between 2011 and 2021. The EU countries that spent the most per inhabitant in this objective in 2021 were Belgium, Finland, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria (more than double the EU average). Regarding the socio-economic objective “Health”, a significant increase (+45 %) in the spending per inhabitant in the period 2011 to 2021 in the EU can be seen in Figure 4. The highest increases were recorded in Hungary, Latvia and Greece, where the large relative increase reflects a small absolute increase of a low absolute 2011 figure. Among the countries where spending per inhabitant is already significantly higher than the EU average, the increase was substantial in Germany (+147 %), Denmark (+101 %) and the Netherlands (+88 %).
Source data for tables and graphs
Statistics on science, technology and innovation were collected based on Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 995/2012 concerning the production and development of Community statistics on science and technology until the end of 2020. Since the beginning of 2021, the collection of R&D statistics is based on Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1197/2020 of 30 July 2020. Please note that according to Article 12(4) of Regulation (EU) 1197/2020, the provisions of Regulation (EU) 995/2012 continue to apply for the reference years that fall before 1 January 2021.
GBARD data are compiled using the methodology laid out in the Guidelines for collecting and reporting data on research and experimental development - Frascati Manual, OECD, 2015: Guidelines for Collecting and Reporting Data on Research and Experimental Development which is the internationally recognised standard methodology for collecting R&D statistics.
Eurostat's Eurobase contains national data from 1980 onwards, though the data availability differs according to country. European aggregates are available from 2000 onwards. GBARD data are provided to Eurostat directly by the national statistical authorities of Member States of the European Union and the EFTA, candidate and potential candidate countries. Data for Japan, the United States and South Korea are extracted from the OECD database.
GBARD covers not only government-financed R&D performed in government establishments but also government-financed R&D in the other three national sectors: business enterprise (BES), private non-profit (PNP), higher education (HES) as well as abroad, including international organisations (§ 12.16, Frascati Manual, OECD 2015). Government budget allocations for R&D (GBARD) are all provisions allocated to R&D in central (federal) government, regional (state) and local (municipal) government. They therefore refer to budget provisions, not to actual expenditure. Local government budget funds may not be included if their contribution is not significant or if the data cannot be collected.
GBARD data cover all public budget spending related to R&D and are linked to policy issues by means of a classification by "objectives" or "goals" (NABS 2007). Programmes are allocated between socio-economic objectives, on the basis of intentions at the time the funds are committed and not the actual content of the projects concerned.
Statistics on Government Budget Allocations for R&D (GBARD) are an important component of research and development (R&D) statistics within the European Union (EU).
Research and Development (R&D) is central 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 2019 to 2024.
One of the key aims of the EU during the last couple of decades has been to encourage increasing levels of research investment, in order to provide a stimulus to the EU’s competitiveness. In May 2021, the European Commission adopted a Communication on a global approach to research and innovation - Europe's global approach to cooperation in research and innovation: strategic, open, and reciprocal. This Communication underlines the EU’s desire to play a leading role in supporting international research and innovation partnerships, while delivering innovative solutions that support green and digital solutions in line with the sustainable development goals. It engages the EU to promote resilience, prosperity, competitiveness, economic and social well-being.
Direct access to
- Government budget allocations for R&D (GBARD) (t_gba)
- Government budget allocations for R&D (GBARD) (gba)
Since the beginning of 2021, the collection of R&D statistics is based on Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1197/2020 of 30 July 2020. Previously, these data were collected under Regulation (EU) No 995/2012 concerning the production and development of Community statistics on science and technology.