R&D intensity

  • Expenditure for research and development stands at 7.5 billion euro

    Expenditure for research and development (R&D) in the Flemish Region in 2017 is estimated at 7.5 billion euro, which corresponds to an R&D intensity for that year of 2.9% of gross domestic product (GDP). This is the highest figure ever. 


    Recent years saw a clear rise in R&D expenditure in % of GDP. 

  • Businesses account for bulk of R&D expenditure

    With expenditures of 5.2 billion euro for research and development, businesses accounted for 70% of total R&D expenditure in 2017. Their share has risen over the years: in 2009, it still stood at 66%. 


    Universities and research institutions associated with universities accounted for 18% of total R&D expenditure in 2017, which is less than in 2009 (22%). The other players, such as the government and non-profit institutions, represented a smaller share of R&D expenditure. 

  • Flemish R&D expenditure higher than EU average

    With a 2.9% R&D intensity in 2017, the Flemish Region did better than the 2.0% EU average figure. The Walloon Region also scored comparatively high (2.7%). In the Brussels Capital Region, R&D intensity is lower (2.2%). 


    In a number of countries such as Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Germany, R&D expenditure is even higher than in Flanders. In Slovakia and Latvia, R&D expenditure amounts to less than 1% of GDP. 


Expertisecentrum Onderzoek en Ontwikkelingsmonitoring (ECOOM) (Centre for Research & Development Monitoring): Indicatorenboek – De middelen voor O&O (Indicators Book- The resources for R&D) 


Gross domestic product: the monetary value of the final goods and services produced in a given country or region over a year’s time. 
R&D intensity: the expenditure for research and development (R&D) as a percentage of gross domestic product. 

Publication date

1 July 2019

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