46 R&DMagazine December 2013 www.rdmag.com
R&D IN EUROPE
With the large number of European Union member states, Europe’s
research community is diverse in its economic composition and national interests, while central funding and administrative mechanisms
allow coordinated operation of public research at a scale that is
comparable to that of the United States. There also are parallels in
research priorities (like the level of commitment to basic research),
demographics and research productivity.
Economic conditions heavily influence R&D funding; so struggling
EU member states Greece, Spain and Italy influence this 2014 R&D
forecast, offset by recovery in Germany, France and the U.K. The
EU is the only global region that had negative growth in 2013, and it
is projected to grow at only about 1% per year through 2017. R&D
funding is expected to follow a similar track.
Highlights of the European research enterprise and its economic
• The amount of R&D performed in Europe is essentially flat for
2012, 2013 and 2014.
• The R&D-focused Eighth Framework Programme is projected
to increase nearly 60% to $110 billion over FP7.
• Performance of U.S. academic research institutions rank just
2014 GLOBAL R&D FUNDING FORECAST
above those in Europe, although European universities are well-regarded in global standings.
• Survey results indicate that U.S. applied research is viewed more
favorably than Europe, but that basic research efforts are close
In the second quarter of 2013, the EU emerged from six consecutive quarters of economic contraction, ending the longest economic
contraction on record for the EU The rebound was driven by the
EU’s largest economy, Germany, where output grew by 0.7% for
the quarter. Most European countries are forecast to experience
economic growth of about 1% through 2014, although Eastern
European countries could see GDP (and related R&D) growth rates
in the 1% to 2% range. Germany is expected to see 1.4% GDP
growth in 2014 and commensurate R&D growth over 2013. France
and the United Kingdom are also gaining economic momentum,
according to the most recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Europe’s Commitment to Public Research
Supported by the European Framework Programme
All time Since 1980 Since 2000
Nobel Prizes in Science & Medicine
European and U.S. shares accommodating emerging regions