R&D intensity

  • Expenditure for research and development stands at 7.9 billion euro

    Expenditure for research and development (R&D) in the Flemish Region in 2018 is estimated at 7.9 billion euro, which corresponds to an R&D intensity of 2.92% of gross domestic product (GDP) in that year. From 2007 onward, R&D expenditure expressed as a % of GDP had increased annually.

  • Businesses account for bulk of R&D expenditure

    The majority of R&D expenditure comes from businesses. In 2018, with expenditures of 5.5 billion euro they accounted for 70% of total R&D expenditure. Their share has risen over the years: in 2009, it still stood at 66%.


    Universities and research institutions associated with universities were the second most important actors with a share of 17% in 2018. This was less than in 2009 (22%). The government agencies and non-profit institutions represented a smaller share of R&D expenditure.

  • Flemish R&D expenditure higher than EU average

    With a 2.92% R&D intensity in 2018, the Flemish Region did better than the 2.03% EU average figure. The Walloon Region also scored comparatively high (2.67% in 2017). In the Brussels Capital Region, R&D intensity is lower (2.16% in 2017).

    In a number of countries such as Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Germany, R&D expenditure was relatively higher than in Flanders. In Lithuania, R&D expenditure amounted to less than 1% of GDP.


Expertisecentrum Onderzoek en Ontwikkelingsmonitoring (ECOOM) (Centre for Research & Development Monitoring): Indicatorenboek – De middelen voor O&O (Indicators Book- The resources for R&D) 


Gross domestic product: the monetary value of the final goods and services produced in a given country or region over a year’s time. 
R&D intensity: the expenditure for research and development (R&D) as a percentage of gross domestic product. 

Publication date

20 August 2020

Next update

July 2020

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