Research & Development (R&D) expenditures reached 1.50% of GDP in 2020 according to provisional data published by the National Documentation Centre (EKT), the competent National Authority of the Hellenic Statistical System for European Statistics on Research, Development and Innovation.
In 2020, a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy, R&D expenditure in Greece was € 2,473.45 million, an increase of € 135.8 million compared to 2019 (growth rate 5.8%). Based on the 5.8% increase in R&D expenditure and the 9.8% decrease in GDP in Greece in 2020, the ‘R&D Intensity’ index, which expresses R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP, stood at 1.50% compared to 1.28% in 2019.
The results of EKT’s statistical survey, conducted in 2021 on research and development organisations in the four areas of activity: business sector (BES), higher education sector (HES), government sector (GOV) and private non-profit institutions sector (PNP), are available in the publication ‘Research and Development Indicators for expenditure and personnel in Greece in 2020 – Provisional Data (https://metrics.ekt.gr/publications/505).
R&D expenditures for businesses in 2020 were €1,147.52 million (0.69% of GDP), up from 2019, and continue to make the largest contribution to the R&D expenditure indicator.
The higher education sector incurred R&D expenditures of 774.39 million euros (0.47% of GDP), showing an increase of 8.1% compared to 2019.
The government sector’s R&D expenditures were 537.21 million euros (0.32% of GDP), showing an increase of 2.5% compared to 2019.
The private non-profit institutions sector made a smaller contribution (14.33 million euros, 0.01% of GDP), indicating a decrease compared to 2019.
Regarding the funding of the R&D expenditures of 2020, the state is the largest source of funds with 1,050.27 million euros (42.5% of the total), through the ordinary budget (675.55 million euros), the NSRF 2014 -2020 (240.49 million euros) and other state sources (Regions, national part of the Public Investment Programme) (134.23 million euros).
The ordinary budget increased by 2.2%, from € 660.97 million in 2019 to € 675.55 million in 2020, and funded R&D expenditure in the higher education sector (€ 366.92 million) and government sector (€ 308.63 million).
The NSRF increased by 18.8%, from € 202.40 million in 2019 to € 240.49 million in 2020, and funded R&D expenditure in the business sector (€ 81.66 million), higher education sector (€81,08 million), government sector (€76.85 million) and in the sector of private non-profit institutions (€0.90 million).
Other government sources increased by 36.4%, from € 98.42 million in 2019 to € 134.23 million in 2020, and funded R&D expenditure in the higher education sector (€ 70.08 million), government sector (€60.77 million), business sector (€ 3.18 million), and the private non-profit sector (€0.20 million).
The second largest source of funds for R&D expenditures in 2020 was from businesses, amounting to 993.20 million euros (40.2% of the total), an increase of 2.5% compared to 2019. Most, € 924, 47 million, was invested in R&D carried out by the companies themselves. The rest funded R&D in the higher education sector (€ 50.08 million), the government sector (€ 17.06 million) and the private non-profit sector (€ 1.59 million).
The European Union is the third largest source of R&D funds, with €275.21 million (11.1% of the total), an increase of 5.4% compared to 2019. The EU funded R&D in all sectors: in the higher education sector (€ 126.37 million), business sector (€83.22 million), government sector (€61.84 million) and the private non-profit institutions sector (€3.78 million).
The increase in R&D expenditure in 2020 was accompanied by an increase in employment in R&D activities. The number of Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs), which responds to full-time ‘job positions’ compared to 2019, increased by 5.8% for total R&D personnel and by 7.0% for researchers. The total R&D personnel in 2020 amounted to 57,059 full-time (FTE) positions and 41,800 FTE researchers. The highest figure for R&D employment was recorded in the higher education sector.
The Research, Development and Innovation statistics in Greece are part of the European official statistics and are produced by the National Documentation Centre, the competent national authority of the Greek Statistical System. They are available from EKT in printed and electronic versions along with data tables at http://metrics.ekt.gr.
The statistical survey for R&D expenditures & personnel is carried out within the framework of Sub-Project 5 ‘Production of RIS3 indicators for the years 2016-2023’ of the Operation ‘Installation of a Monitoring Mechanism for the implementation of the national strategy RIS3-Collection and processing of indicators’ implemented by the National Documentation Centre, under the Operational Programme ‘Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship & Innovation (NSRF 2014-2020)’, co-funded by Greece and the European Union-European Regional Development Fund.