Nearly 54,000 full-time equivalents employed in research and development
The Flemish Region had 53,933 full-time equivalents working in research and development in 2018 (R&D personnel).This number has been rising steadily in recent years. Between 2006 and 2018, the number of full-time units for R&D increased by 55%.
6 out of 10 R&D personnel working in businesses
The majority of the personnel working in research and development is employed in businesses. In 2018, they accounted for 63% of full-time R&D equivalents. The second biggest actor was higher education (27%).
The share of businesses was on the decline between 2006 and 2013, only to rise again from 2014 onwards. The shares of the government agencies and the non-profit institutions increased over time, even though the latter category remained small in absolute numbers. The share of higher education went up from 30% to 34% between 2006 and 2010, but has decreased since then.
In 2017, R&D personnel in the Flemish Region accounted for 2.8% of total employment. This share was higher in the Brussels Region (4.8%), and lower in the Walloon Region (2.1%).
At European level, Denmark ranked highest (3.4% in 2017), followed by Austria, Sweden and Finland. Belgium achieved 2.8%. The share of R&D personnel in total employment was lowest in a number of southern and Mediterranean EU countries, with Romania at the bottom (0.5%).