Science, technology and innovation are important drivers for the Europe 2020 growth strategy. Data in these fields collected by Eurostat serves both policymakers and scientists.

EU Policy context

Europe 2020 Strategy sets out a vision of Europe's social market economy for the 21st century and notably retained the 3% R&D intensity goal as one of the five headline targets to be achieved by the EU by 2020.

Science, technology and innovation statistics have been acknowledged by the Commission as to be closely linked to the policy activities carried out by the European Union. This places Innovation indicators as a key element in monitoring the objectives of the Innovation Union initiative and European Research Area (ERA) under the different priorities of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

On 17 July 2012, the Commission adopted its Communication on "A Reinforced European Research Area (ERA) Partnership for Excellence and Growth". ERA is a unified research area open to the world based on the Internal market, in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely.

The measures in the Communication will have to be implemented by EU Member States, the Commission and Research Organisations to ensure the completion of ERA by 2014 as called for by the European Council.

The data collected by Eurostat in these fields, i.e. R&D and Innovation, are harmonised for the EU28 as well as for the EFTA and Candidate Countries. The EU average is calculated. Data is regularly updated and published in the Eurobase.

The following graph is an example of statistics on this theme.