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Austria’s research/GDP ratio will rise again in 2018, second highest in EU comparison

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It will comprise a level of 3.19 percent and continue to be considerably higher than the targeted level of 3.0 percent in the EU by the year 2020. In 2017, the share of research expenditures as a proportion of GDP amounted to 3.16 percent. On balance, R&D expenditures in Austria are expected to be about EUR 12.3 billion, up 5.6 percent from 2017. The research ratio has increased substantially over the last 20 years. In 1998, R&D expenditures amounted to 1.73 percent of GDP, rising to 2.57 percent in 2008. The targeted level is 3.76 percent. In an EU comparison for the year 2016, the last year for which data is available, Austria’s research rate of 3.15 percent was second in the EU, surpassed only by Sweden (3.25 percent) but ahead of Germany, Denmark and Finland.    

Statistics Austria anticipates corporate R&D to equal EUR 6.11 billion or 49.5 percent of the total expenditures in 2018. This means that companies are expected to increase their research spending by 6.8 percent compared to 2017. The public sector contributes EUR 4.2 billion in spending, representing a share of 34.1 percent of total R&D investments and a 4.3 percent increase compared to 2015. EUR 1.95 billion in R&D spending comes from abroad, or 15.8 percent of total investments. In this case companies carrying out research in Austria, especially multinational companies, are ahead of the others.

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