Latvia's R&D spend confirmed as very low

Final data for 2021 indicates that the EU spent €331 billion on research & development (R&D), up 6.9% compared with the previous year (almost €310 billion), according to updated Eurostat figures.

R&D is a major driver of innovation, and R&D expenditure and intensity are two of the key indicators used to monitor resources devoted to science and technology worldwide. 

Compared with 2011, there was a 45.0% increase in EU expenditure on R&D. These rates of change are in current prices, meaning they reflect both price changes and real changes in the level of expenditure. 

Among the EU countries, the highest R&D intensity in 2021 was recorded in Belgium (3.43%), Sweden (3.40%), Austria (3.26%) and Germany (3.13%), all with expenditures above 3% of their GDP.

In contrast, six EU countries reported R&D expenditure below 1% of their GDP in 2021: Romania (0.47%), Malta (0.65%), Latvia (0.74%), Bulgaria (0.77%), Cyprus (0.83%) and Slovakia (0.92%). 

There were also considerable differences in the relative significance of R&D funding from the rest of the world, with relatively high shares in 2021 reported in Bulgaria (40.1 %), Lithuania (31.3 %), Czechia (30.5 %), Latvia (30.4 %), Slovenia (26.4 %) and Ireland (26.3 %). 

This information comes from final data on R&D expenditure in 2021 published by Eurostat. LSM has already reported on preliminary data for 2022 which is broadly similar,

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