Belgium is Europe's biggest spender on R&D

Belgium is the leading country in Europe for spending on research and development, new figures from Eurostat show. Belgium spent 3.43 per cent of its GDP on R&D in 2021.

In total, the EU spent 331 billion euros on R&D in 2021, approximately 7 per cent more than in 2020 and almost 50 per cent more than in 2011. The spending is equivalent to 2.27 per cent of GDP.

Belgium is followed by Sweden at 3.4 per cent of GDP, Austria at 3.26 per cent and Germany at 3.13 per cent. It also shows the largest increase over the past decade, with an increase of 1.26 percentage points.

Despite rising spending, the EU as a whole remains behind South Korea (4.93 per cent of GDP), the US (3.46 per cent), Japan (3.34 per cent) and China (2.41 per cent).


Illustration picture of a researcher at the European Plotkin Institute for Vaccinology of Universite Libre de Bruxelles, ​ September 2023 © ​ BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND

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