The overall RTDI intensity in the Rhineland-Palatinate can be characterised as low compared to other German regions. In 2017, the region's overall expenditure on R&D amounted to €3.4b which amounts for 3.51% of the German total and represents 2.46% of the regions GDP, below the German level (3.07%) but above the European level (2.08%) (Eurostat, 2020). The RTDI sector is business-oriented by German standards: in 2017, the share of regional business expenditure on R&D amounted to 73% compared to 69% on the national average (Eurostat, 2020). Therefore, the share of the public expenditure in R&D are very low and represent 8% of the total regional expenditure in R&D, which is significantly below the national average 14% (Eurostat, 2020).
Correspondingly, in 2012, the number of EPO (European Patent Office) patent applications per 100,000 inhabitants was 20.7 (825 in total) (Eurostat, 2019). It remained below German average of 23.0 patent applications per 100,000 inhabitants and represented made some 4.5% of the national total (Eurostat, 2019). Furthermore, in 2016, about 3.6% of total employment is in high-technology manufacturing and knowledge-intensive services. Thus, the share is lower than the national average of 4.2% and European average of 4.1% (Eurostat, 2020).
In terms of education, 33.3% of the 30-34-year olds had attained tertiary education level in 2018, below the German average (35.6%) and well below the European average (41.6%) (Eurostat, 2020).
Notwithstanding the relatively low overall R&D intensity of the Rhineland-Palatinate, its research infrastructure features several outstanding research units located within the region's higher education institutions as well as non-university research centres. The state comprises four universities, seven state universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen) and nine private universities (Studieren in Rheinland-Pfalz, 2019). In addition, Rhineland-Palatinate is home to three Max Planck institutes, three Fraunhofer institutes, one institute of the Helmholtz Society and five institutions of the Leibniz Association, among a variety of other non-university research institutions. The region also contains several research clusters in life sciences, information and communication technology, automotive technologies, materials sciences, materials, surface finishing magnetic microsystems, metal and ceramics, energy, environmental technology, resource efficiency, and micro systems technology, sensor technology, automation (Cluster Platform Germany, 2018).
In terms of infrastructures, the region is well connected, by land, water and air, thanks in particular to the proximity of Frankfurt Airport. In 2019, 93% of the households have broadband access, slightly below the German average (94%) (Eurostat, 2020).