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Public Funding of ICT R&D by Member States

In 2009, estimated public ICT R&D funding in the EU amounted to € 5.3 billion – almost 6% of the total EU public funding of R&D. In this analysis, public funding of R&D is measured via GBAORD [1] and public ICT R&D funding is obtained by estimating [2] the share of total EU GBAORD that is allocated to ICT R&D.

The figure below shows public ICT R&D funding intensity (defined as Public Funding of ICT R&D /GDP) in EU Member States in 2008 and 2009. In both years, Sweden led (with 0.12% in 2009), followed by Finland (0.09%) and Denmark (0.08%). With the exception of four newer Member States (Romania, Slovakia, Latvia and Lithuania), all other EU Member States experienced increases in their shares of public funding of ICT R&D in GDP in the period 2008 to 2009. [3]

It is also interesting to note that, in 2008, Slovenia was below the EU level. In 2009, however, it surpassed the level of several older Member States (Spain, the Netherlands and Germany) and was ranked the sixth most intensive country in the EU. It is also the country with the biggest increase from 2008 to 2009 (almost 0.03 percentage points). Overall, eleven countries performed better than the EU level (0.05%) and this group also included two newer Member States (the Czech Republic and Slovenia).

[1] Government Budget Appropriations or Outlays for R&D by Socio-economic Objectives (GBAORD) is a budget-based data, which allows government support for R&D to be measured. Essentially, this involves identifying all the budget items with an R&D component and measuring or estimating their R&D content in terms of funding. These estimates are less accurate than performance-based data but as they are derived from the budget, they can be linked to policy through classification by “objectives” or “goals”. GBAORD series cover R&D in natural sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities and in both current and capital expenditures. They include R&D performed on national territory as well as payments to foreign performers, including international organizations. GBAORD, however, covers only R&D financed by central government; local government and sometimes also provincial government are excluded.

[2] Stančík, J. 2012. A Methodology to Estimate Public ICT R&D Expenditures in the EU Member States. JRC Technical Note, JRC 69978.

[3] Please note that data from Greece are missing for 2009. For illustration, in the last available year, the estimate of publicly-funded ICT R&D expenditures in Greece was € 41 million (2008).


Share of Public Funding of ICT R&D in GDP by Member State (2008, 2009)


Source: JRC-IPTS estimations (based on Stančík 2012). [Download full image]

Note: Data for Greece in 2009 are not available.



In 2009, the EU’s five largest economies – and Sweden – provided the largest contributions to total public funding of ICT R&D in the EU: Germany (22.7%), the UK (12%), Spain (11.5%), France (10.2%), Italy (9.1%) and Sweden (6.6%). These six countries together accounted for more than 70% of total public funding of ICT R&D in the EU. Next came the Netherlands (5.9%), Belgium (5%) and Austria (4%). The newer Member States together accounted for only 4.1% of the total public funding of ICT R&D, a contribution that was significantly below their economic weight (12.5% of the total EU GDP).


Distribution of Public Funding of ICT R&D among Member States (2009)


Source: JRC-IPTS estimations (based on Stančík 2012). [Download full image]