Research and Development expenditure and personnel increased in Greece in 2021

According to the provisional data on R&D indicators published by EKT, expenditure on Research & Development was equal to 1.45% of GDP.

The provisional data published by the National Documentation Centre (EKT), as the competent National Authority of the Hellenic Statistical System for European statistics on Research, Development and Innovation, recorded an increase of 5.7% in R&D expenditure and 4.2% in R&D personnel in Greece in 2021.

More specifically, in 2021, the expenditure incurred for R&D in Greece was 2,635.23 million euro, recording an increase of 141 million euro compared to 2020 (growth rate of 5.7%). In combination with the 9.8% increase in GDP in Greece in 2021, the ‘R&D intensity’ indicator, which expresses R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP, stood at 1.45% from 1.51% in 2020.

The results of EKT’s statistical survey, conducted in 2022 on entities with research and development activities in the four sectors of R&D performance: Business (BES), Higher Education (HES), the Government (GOV) and Private Non-Profit Institutions (PNP), are available in the publication ‘Research and Development expenditure and personnel in Greece in 2021– Main Indicators  / Provisional data’ ( (in Greek).

The business sector continues to make the largest contribution to total R&D expenditure. More specifically, in 2021, R&D expenditure of 1,245.20 million euro (0.69% of GDP) was incurred in the business sector, showing an increase of 8.3% compared to 2020.

An increase in R&D expenditure was also recorded in the government sector, where R&D expenditure of 579.00 million euro was incurred (0.32% of GDP), an increase of 7.8% compared to 2020.

In the higher education sector, R&D expenditure was 795.83 million euro (0.44% of GDP) and was at the same level as in 2020, showing an increase of 0.4%. In the area of private non-profit institutions, R&D expenditure of 15.20 million euro was recorded (0.01% of GDP).

In terms of the sources of funding for R&D expenditure, in 2021, the government was the largest source of funding with 1,161.68 million euro. There was a significant increase in R&D expenditure financed by the government through the NSRF 2014-2020. More specifically, the funding from the NSRF was a total of 335.54 million euro (an increase of 33.50%) and covered all sectors: enterprises (€139.18 million), the higher education sector (€100.36 million), the government sector (€95.02 million) and the private non-profit institutions sector (€0.98 million).

The second largest source of funding for 2021 R&D expenditure was enterprises, with an amount of €1,013.24 million. The largest amount of business financing 925.82 million euro, was invested in R&D carried out by the enterprises themselves. The remainder financed R&D in higher education sector (€60.15 million), the government sector (€25.53 million) and private non-profit institutions (€1.74 million).

The European Union was the third largest source of R&D funding, with 268.47 million euro (10.2% of the total). The EU funded research projects in all areas of R&D implementation, business sector (€73.60 million), the higher education sector (€103.60 million), the government sector (€86.47 million) and the private non-profit institutions sector (€4.80 million).

The increase in R&D expenditure in 2021 resulted in an increase in employment in R&D activities. The number of Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs), which yield full-time ‘positions’, compared to 2020, increased by 4.2% for total R&D personnel and by 3.2% for researchers. Total R&D personnel in 2021 amounted to 60,537 full-time positions (FTEs) and for researchers it was 44,317 FTEs. The largest increase was recorded in the business sector.

The statistics and indicators for Research, Development and Innovation in Greece refer to European statistics and are produced by the National Documentation Centre, the competent national authority of the Hellenic Statistical System. They are the official national data transmitted to and published by Eurostat and the OECD. They are also available from EKT in printed and electronic publications and data tables on the

The survey for the recording of R&D expenditure & personnel for 2021 was carried out within the framework of Subproject 5 ‘Production of RIS 3 indicators for the years 2016-2023’ for the Action ‘Monitoring Mechanism RIS3’, implemented by the National Documentation Centre, as part of the Operational Programme ‘Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship & Innovation (NSRF 2014-2020)', co-financed by Greece and the European Union-European Regional Development Fund.