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Poland’s R&D spending catching up with EU average


Unlike for its European neighbours, Covid-19 did not hamper Poland’s spending growth, research agency says

Poland is catching up with the rest of Europe on its R&D spending, according to new official figures from the country.

Polish total spending on R&D reached 1.44 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2021, the National Centre for Research and Development announced on 17 January, up from 1.39 per cent in 2020.

The centre said Polish spending on R&D as a share of GDP has almost doubled in the past decade and is “beginning to reach a level comparable to the countries of southern Europe”, where growth in R&D spending is “noticeably slower”.

It cited 2021 R&D spending of 1.43 per cent in Spain, 1.44 per cent in Greece and 1.49 per cent in Italy, and also flagged that Poland’s 2021 R&D spending intensity exceeded that of Luxembourg on 1.01 per cent and Ireland on 1.06 per cent.

But Polish R&D spending is still well below Europe’s biggest spenders: Austria, Belgium, Germany and Sweden all spent over 3 per cent of their GDP on R&D in 2021.

Average EU R&D spending has been about 2.2 per cent of GDP for several years, despite the bloc having a longstanding target of 3 per cent.

The centre said the Covid-19 pandemic had not hampered the growth of R&D spending in Poland, unlike in other European countries.

It also reported that the number of Polish companies active in research increased by about 16 per cent on the previous year and 45 per cent on 2017. The number of people employed in R&D also increased by 8 per cent in a year to about 306,000.