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Malta fourth lowest R&D expenditure

Malta had the fourth lowest R&D expenditure of the EU in 2015, at almost a third of the EU average.

In 2005, Malta’s R&D expenditure was only 0.53 per cent of GDP – but while this went up to 0.77 per cent by 2015, it still lags well behind the EU average of 2.03 per cent.

In 2015, the member states of the EU spent all together almost €300 billion on research and development, Eurostat reported.

The EU aims to increase the percentage to three per cent by 2020, to provide a stimulus to its competitiveness. Even then, it will still be behind South Korea (4.29 per cent in 2014) and Japan (3.59 per cent in 2014). Only three member states currently have a percentage of R&D spending over three per cent: Sweden (3.26 per cent), Austria (3.07 per cent) and Denmark (3.03 per cent). At the opposite end of the scale, seven member states recorded a R&D intensity below one per cent: Cyprus (0.46 per cent), Romania (0.49 per cent), Latvia (0.63 per cent), Malta (0.77 per cent), Croatia (0.85 per cent), Bulgaria and Greece (both 0.96 per cent).

The business enterprise sector continues to be the main sector in which R&D expenditure was spent, accounting for almost two-thirds of the total for 2015.

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