R&D expenditure 2019 2018 2017
Volume (million €) 15,572 14,946 14,063
Annual rate (%) 4.2 6.3 6.1
Percentage over GDP (%) 1.25 1.24 1.21

(*) Provisional data


R&D statistics include all companies, public bodies, private non-profit universities or institutions that undertake R&D activities, whether this is on a continual or occasional basis.

The sample size of the R&D Statistics is 51,622 units, of which, 50,153 are companies, 900 are public administration centres (including public hospitals), 77 are universities, 145 are centres of higher education, and 347 are private non-profit institutions.

What is R&D?

Research and development (R&D) includes the body of creative work undertaken systematically with the objective of increasing the volume of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society and the use of this knowledge to create new applications.

The main aggregates for quantifying the national effort invested in R&D activities are domestic expenditure on R&D (which includes current expenditure and the capital corresponding to activities undertaken within the state) and personnel working on R&D activities (which includes the ensemble of persons that have worked on a full time equivalent).

Effect of the 2019 Statistical Review of National Accounts

The 2019 Statistical Review of National Accounts has had an effect on the national R&D Statistics data referring to GDP.