September 16, 2016

Finland a top spender on R&D globally

Investment in R&D drives innovation at country level, the UN believes.
Investment in R&D drives innovation at country level, the UN believes.
Finland Promotion Board / Keksi / Sakari Piippo

Finland is among the countries that spend the most of their GDP on research and development, reveals data published by Unesco Institute for Statistics.

When countries are viewed according to their expenditure on R&D as a percentage of GDP, Finland is the fourth on the list.

The Republic of Korea tops the list with an impressive 4.3 per cent spending in terms of its GDP. The countries that follow are Japan (3.6 per cent), Israel (4.1. per cent), Finland with its 3.2 per cent and Sweden, similarly 3.2 per cent.

When expenditure on R&D is compared in absolute numbers, the top performers are, perhaps naturally, large economies. The number one spender is the United States, followed by China, Japan, Germany and the Republic of Korea.

One of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals calls on governments to work for promoting sustainable industrialisation and innovations through increasing spending on R&D and the number of researchers.

“Investment in R&D is one of the main drivers of investment in the new knowledge, technology and thinking that drives innovation at country level. So, if governments want to know how well they are doing on innovation, they really need to know how well they are doing on R&D,” say Silvia Montoya, director of the Unesco Institute for Statistics, and Damien Chalaud, executive director of the World Federation of Science Journalists, in their joint blog post.

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