Feeds

Europe's R&D 'stagnant', says report

We're being left behind, people

Boost IT visibility and business value

If Europe wants to be at the forefront of a global "knowledge-based economy", it needs to seriously up its spending on R&D, according to a report published yesterday.

The European Commission warns that unless member states act to increase the proportion of their gross domestic product they invest in basic R&D, the EU will trail behind economies like Japan, South Korea, and the US.

As a whole, the EU puts less than two per cent of its GDP into R&D. Japan, by contrast, invests closer to 3.5 per cent. As things stand, only China and Russia invest proportionally less, but the report suggests that China will have caught up with EU investment by 2009.

Under the terms of the Lisbon Strategy, which EU member states signed up to in 2000, countries pledged to increase their R&D spending so that across the EU the figure reached three per cent of the union's GDP by 2010.

The aim of the strategy was to make Europe "the most competitive and the most dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world". Now, the target looks overly optimistic and the goal unlikely.

"Knowledge is a key component of competitiveness," said European science and research commissioner Janez Potocnik. "If our businesses are to be at the leading edge in the future, they need to invest in knowledge now. And governments need to put in place the appropriate measures to help them do so."

The report also shows that although the EU produces more scientific papers than the US, the impact of US research is far greater. It notes that the larger high tech sector in the US means there is more private funding of R&D, but adds that the different "industrial structure" of the two regions is also a factor.

So, without the US's high tech industry or "industrial structure", public funding on research becomes even more important. The report says current levels of investment must at least be maintained, if not increased.

Since 2005, member states have renewed their commitment to the Lisbon strategy and launched a new R&D framework, which has a much larger budget than its predecessor; but the impact of these changes is not seen in the current report, since they postdate the figures upon which it is based. The basic data underpinning the report only runs until the end of 2005.

If you are feeling strong, the full report is here. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.