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R&D spending slightly up in 2017, early data show

The EU spent 2.07 per cent of its GDP on R&D in 2017, according to provisional official data, falling far short of its 3 per cent target for R&D spending by 2020.

A first estimate that the EU spent almost €320 billion on R&D in 2017 was announced by the statistics agency Eurostat on 10 January. If confirmed, this would equate to 2.07 per cent of GDP, which would be 0.03 percentage points more than the EU’s 2016 R&D intensity of 2.04 per cent.

EU R&D spending has hovered at just over 2 per cent of GDP since about 2012, according to Eurostat. This is despite political leaders having agreed a target for the EU to increase its spending on R&D to 3 per cent of its GDP by 2020.

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