Public funds for science and innovation

  • Public budget for science and innovation again close to 2.9 billion euro in 2020

    At the time of the 2020 budget preparation, the total public budget for science and innovation amounted to almost 2.9 billion euro. That amount is roughly at the same level as in 2019. In recent years, significant investments have been made in science and innovation, with a particularly strong increase in 2019.

  • Bulk of public funds goes to research and development

    The largest part of the public funds for science and innovation goes to ‘research and development (R&D)’. In 2020 this amounts to 1.85 billion euro. This amount distinctly increased until 2019. The second largest post is ‘education and training’ (0.88 billion euro). The ‘scientific and technological services’ post is substantially smaller (0.13 billion euro).

  • Share of targeted and non-targeted research converge

    Since 2002, ‘targeted research’ consistently outweighs ‘non-targeted research’ in the total public budget for science and innovation. Targeted research pursues an economic or social purpose. Non-targeted research is driven by scientific ambition and inquisitiveness. 

    In 2010, the share of targeted research stood at 59%. In 2015 and 2016, this share fell to approximately 50%. In the years that followed, the targeted research share rose again to 55% in 2018 and 58% in 2019. In 2020 we see both shares converge and the share of targeted research falling to 55%.

  • Flanders performs above average in a European context

    In comparison with the countries of the European Union for which data are available, Flanders performs better than average in terms of public funds for R&D. In 2018, the Flemish figure (0.71% of the GDP) beat the European Union average  (0.62%). Germany comes up top, followed by Denmark. Ireland did least well with 0.24%.

Sources

Departement Economie, Wetenschap en Innovatie (EWI) (Dept. of Economy, Science and Innovation): Speurgids (Information Guide) 

Definitions

The Horizontal Budget Programme Science and Innovation Policy is the science and innovation policy that is funded by the Flemish government as a whole. This concerns administrative data derived from the Science Policy Horizontal Programme of the Flemish budget. 
Targeted research: research which pursues an economic or social purpose.

Non-targeted research is driven by scientific ambition and inquisitiveness. 

Publication date

21 December 2020

Next update

26 May 2021

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