European statistics on Research & Development (R&D) record the expenditures and personnel engaged in the country's research and development activities and are used to produce a series of important growth indicators.
The most known indicator representing R&D expenditures as a percentage of GDP is the  'R&D Intensity' indicator, which is used to monitor important strategic goals worldwide, such as the European Semester initiative, the Sustainable Development Goals, etc. as well as the longstanding target strategy of Europe 2020 to achieve investment of 3% of GDP in R&D throughout the European Union. As economic growth and prosperity of a country depend on the resources available for the implementation of support for R&D activities, R&D statistics form a basis for the formulation and monitoring of policies at a European and national level.

The data are included in the official mandatory statistics of EU member states. The National Documentation Centre, in accordance with relevant European  Regulations, and in its capacity as the competent authority of the Hellenic Statistical System, annually produces and transmits national R&D statistics to Eurostat. The basic concepts and definitions, the standard classifications and the guidelines for producing Research and Development -R&D statistics are defined by the Frascati manual (OECD, 2015).

R&D statistics produce indicators for R&D expenditures and  personnel for the whole of the country, regional distribution and detailed data on R&D expenditures and personnel per R&D sector (Business, Government, Higher Education and Private non-profit Institutions).

Brief data description

R&D Expenditures  

Data on (internal/domestic) R&D expenditures for the whole country and four individual sectors: Business (BES), Government (GOV),Higher Education (HES), Private Non-profit Institutions (PNP), by:

  • funding source(government, business, ΕU, other foreign sources, other national sources

  • type of R&D (basic research, applied research, experimental development)

  • type of expenditure (personal expenditures, other current expenditures  and capital expenditures),

  • main scientific field,

  • regions,

  • economic activity and class size of enterprise, (for enterprises only)

R&D personnel

Production figures for R&D personnel in total for the country and individual performance of the four sectors by: 

  • type of employment (researchers, technicians, other support personnel)

  • gender,

  • educational level,

  • main scientific field,

  • regions,

  • economic activity and class size of enterprise, (for enterprises only)

Where R&D indicators are used

  • R&D expenditures are included in the country's GDP, in compliance with the  revised European System of Accounts ESA 2010, and are recorded as fixed capital expenditure. 

  • The R&D Intensity (R&D Expenditures as % of GDP) includes auxiliary indicators of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP) Scoreboard, a scoreboard which is used by the European Commission for timely updates on the monitoring of the macroeconomic imbalance of the the EU member states. (European Semester)

  • The R&D Intensity (R&D Expenditures as % of GDP) and the indicator for 'researchers (in FTE) per one million people' have a target of 9.5 of pillar 9- Industry, Innovation & infrastructure of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

  • The R&D indicators are fed into 'indicator groups' monitoring European policies (such as the European Innovation Scoreboard  and the  Regional Innovation Scoreboard, SRI Performance report, Research and Innovation Observatory (RIO), country reports, Eurpoean Research Area etc) and international policies (such as the OECD's  Innovation Policy Platform ,its key publications such as STI Outlook and STI Scoreboard, and UNESCO's statistics database).

  • The R&D Intensity indicator (R&D Expenditures as % of GDP) is one of the nine headline indicators which are used to monitor the progress of the Europe 2020 strategy towards a goal of R&D expenditures of the European Union reaching 3% of GDP. This goal has been extended to 2030.

    Further information on the methodology used in compiling R&D statistics can be found in the country Quality Reports transmitted by EKT to Eurostat and published at

European Regulations
Reference Documents