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Finnish R&D spend slowing down

Data published on 31 October by Statistics Finland shows that Finland's world-class spending on research is going down.

Finnish R&D spending topped €7 billion in 2011, but despite a small growth compared to 2010 in absolute spending, the R&D spend as a share of GDP decreased from 3.9 per cent to 3.78 per cent of GDP between 2010 and 2011.

The report estimates that in 2012, the national level of R&D spending might decrease by yet another €70m, taking the country’s spend to 3.6 per cent of GDP.

According to Statistics Finland, R&D spending between 2010 and 2011 grew by €190m. The growth came largely from the private sector.

The number of people working in R&D remained largely the same with an increase of 1 per cent between 2010 and 2011 up to 80,800 people. Women made up half the R&D personnel in the public sector, but only a third in the private sector.

R&D spending in Finland is still one of the highest in the world when measured as a share of GDP. In 2010, only Israel spent a larger share of its national wealth on R&D, at 4.4 per cent of GDP. Sweden, Japan, South Korea and Denmark spent over 3 per cent as well.