Research and development
|Updated: 31.10.2013 - Next update: 31.10.2014|
Considerable decrease in R&D expenditure in 2012
Research and development expenditure amounted to EUR 6.8 billion in 2012. According to the statistics on research and development compiled by Statistics Finland, R&D expenditure fell by EUR 330 million from the previous year. The drop concerned almost entirely the private sector, where the expenditure used on research and development activity contracted by EUR 350 million. In the industry of electronics, computers and electrical equipment, R&D expenditure went down by EUR 570 million, but other industries, especially machinery and equipment, reported higher R&D expenditure than in the previous year.
Due to the decrease in R&D expenditure, the GDP share of research expenditure also diminished. In 2012, the GDP share was 3.55 per cent, having been 3.80 per cent twelve months earlier. In 2013, expenditure is estimated to remain more or less the same, but the GDP share is assessed to fall to 3.49 per cent.
R&D expenditure has grown fast from the mid-1990s until 2008, when the real value of expenditure was over 2.5 times as high as in 1995. Annual average real growth was around 13 per cent until the turn of the millennium. After this, the growth slowed down to around four per cent, until in 2009 the growth halted and turned to a decline of over seven per cent in 2012. This development was mainly led by enterprises. For enterprises, the average real annual growth was at first 16 per cent and after the turn of the millennium, it settled at five per cent, until the real growth in expenditure ended in 2008. During the next four years, the real decrease in enterprises' R&D expenditure was nearly 15 per cent.Statistical release
Statistics Finland / Research and development
Description of indicator
Research and development activity (R&D) is understood as systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge and use it to devise new applications. The defining criterion is that the purpose of the activity should be the presence of an appreciable element of novelty. Research and development activity includes basic research, applied research and experimental development.
The significance of research knowledge in the development of society and the economy has continually grown. This in turn increases the significance of cooperation and networking both between the public and the private sectors and within sectors. Through globalisation and international development, knowledge and expertise in its different forms have become key factors in the development of societies, which in turn is reflected in a consistent growth of research efforts. In addition to economic growth, an effective and efficient national innovation system is also increasingly considered to be a key factor in creating social wellbeing.
As an extensive entity, Finland’s R&D activity consists of the producers of new knowledge and expertise, those who utilise them, and the diverse interactions between them. A broad-based innovation policy supports the renewal of different policy sectors through innovation activities. The effects are evident in the social welfare and health sector, the energy and transport sector and in the development of the information society, education and the regions. The multidisciplinary nature of social problems nowadays requires multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research.The goal of R&D activity is to ensure sustainable and balanced social and economic development in Finland. Increasing economic growth and wellbeing also requires the sustainably directed improvement of productivity based on innovations. The requirements for fulfilling this goal are high employment and productivity as well as good international competitiveness.