Nearly 51,000 full-time equivalents employed in research and development
The Flemish Region had 50,847 full-time equivalents working in research and development in 2017 (R&D personnel).
This number has been increasing in recent years. Between 2006 and 2017, the number of full-time units for R&D increased by 47%.
6 in 10 R&D employees work in the private sector
Private companies account for the bulk of research workers. In 2017, this share stood at 62% of the full-time equivalents in R&D. The second biggest actor is higher education (28%).
The share of private companies was on the decline between 2006 and 2015, only to rise again in 2016 and 2017. The shares of the government 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.
According to figures from the European statistics agency Eurostat, 2.9% of all jobs in the Flemish Region in 2016 were R&D jobs. The Brussels Capital Region does slightly better at 3.1%. The indicator shows a lower proportion in the Walloon Region (2.3%).
At European level, Denmark ranks highest (3.0%). Austria, Sweden and Finland occupy the same rank as the Flemish Region. The indicator is lowest in a number of southern and Mediterranean EU countries.