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The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector is one of the most research intensive sectors in the EU economy, meaning that it has a high ratio of Research & Development (R&D) expenditure if compared to its value added (its revenues less materials and services purchases). This is one of the main findings of a new report by the JRC's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), which also highlights that with a ratio of 5.3% in 2009, the R&D intensity of this sector was more than four times the average of all business sectors in the EU (1.2%).
Based on the latest available data from official sources (EUROSTAT and OECD for 2008 and 2009) the report shows that in 2009 the ICT sector accounted for 17% of the EU's total business R&D expenditure, while only representing 4% of the EU's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This share of GDP - stable over the last few years - amounted to a value added of € 470 billion in 2009 and represented over 6.1 million jobs.
Despite the decrease of R&D investment in the sector from 2008 to 2009 (-7%) and the loss of value added (-7.4%), it can be said that the R&D drive was stable, as the sector maintained an R&D intensity of 5.3% in 2009, very close to the 5.4% intensity registered in 2008. This R&D intensity positions ICT as a "high R&D intensity" sector such as pharmaceuticals & biotechnology or health care equipment and services, even at times of economic downturn.
This report is the fifth edition of a series published annually by the "PREDICT" project, which provides a detailed analysis of the state of Information and Communication Technologies R&D activities in the European Union. PREDICT is a project jointly funded by the JRC and the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Contents and Technology (DG CONNECT). PREDICT provides indicators for the Digital Agenda for Europe.