EU Science Hub

ICT industry and ICT R&D in Europe

ICT-related innovation represents between 17% and 26% of total innovative output in the EU. With its annual R&D expenditure of €27 Bn (2009), the ICT industry represents 17% of total European Business Expenditure in Research and Development (BERD). The Digital Agenda for Europe aims to double both business expenditures in R&D in the ICT economic sector (ICT BERD), and public funding of ICT R&D, from 2007 to 2020.

Quantitative evidence is needed on a regular basis in order to monitor progress and impact of such policies. The JRC undertakes such mapping and analysis and supports the Directorate-Generals of the Commission dealing with the ICT sector such as the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology, and the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry.

JRC's work on ICT R&D and Innovation can be grouped in the following areas:

Analysis of the ICT industry and its R&D

The JRC develops a comprehensive research programme providing and analysing data on the ICT industry and its R&D, in the EU and globally: Prospective Insights on R&D in ICT

The research programme includes:

  • analysing data on the size and distribution of public and private investments in R&D in the ICT industry in the EU and in other major and emerging economies;
  • analysing R&D investments made by top R&D investing ICT companies globally;
  • analysing ICT patenting worldwide;
  • analysing the increasing internationalisation of ICT R&D;
  • analysing development of the ICT industry in BRICS countries, such as, China, India and Brazil, and
  • modelling economic performance of ICT R&D.

The JRC is aslo dedicated to research on patent data. Patent intelligence for policy support is one of the most reliable and recognised sources of information on the technological dynamics and the resulting changes in the competitive environments.

Analysing ICT innovation in the EU

A research project on European Innovation Policies for the Digital Shift (EURIPIDIS) aiming to improve understanding of innovation in the ICT sector and of ICT-enabled innovation in the rest of the economy, and policy implications.

The EURIPIDIS project aims to:

  • Better understand how ICT innovation works, both at the level of actors such as firms, and at the level of the ICT “innovation system” in the EU
  • Analyse the main ICT innovation drivers and barriers in the EU
  • Assess the EU's current ICT innovation performance, by attempting to measure ICT innovation in Europe
  • Explore and suggest how policy makers could make ICT innovation in the EU work better.

In the context of EURIPIDIS, JRC has developed several studies on models of ICT innovation, on ICT innovation drivers and barriers, and on measurement of ICT innovation.

Mapping of European poles of excellence in ICT

This research aims to define, identify, analyse and monitor the existence and progress of current and future poles of excellence in ICT in Europe to develop a clear methodology in order to identify poles of excellence among the many European ICT clusters, to benchmark them with non-European poles, to observe their dynamics, and to offer a thorough analysis of their characteristics.

Investigating the EU media and content industry

Research on the media and content industries (MCI) to investigate the current status and dynamics affecting specific MCI sub-sectors setup. It significantly contributes to the understanding and debate about the economic health and development conditions that would support the future competitiveness of the European MCI within the digital economy.