POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - EDUCATION

A matter of perspectives

Luxembourg spends less on R&D than EU average



The €648 per capita spent on R&D in Luxembourg in 2020 represent 1.1% of its GPD, which the Chamber of Commerce sees as insufficient.  Photo: Shutterstock

The €648 per capita spent on R&D in Luxembourg in 2020 represent 1.1% of its GPD, which the Chamber of Commerce sees as insufficient.  Photo: Shutterstock

Luxembourg rates 21st out of the 27 EU countries when it comes to percentage of GDP spent on research and development (R&D), reveals a Eurostat study. A surprising ranking considering Luxembourg was recently named the biggest spender on R&D per capita in the EU.

On 29 November, Eurostat announced that, only 1.1% of Luxembourg’s GDP had been spent on R&D, a decrease of 0.4% since last year. In comparison, Belgium, while spending €285 per citizen, proportionally spends the most of its GDP (3.5%), followed by Sweden (also 3.5%) and Austria (3.2%). Luxembourg scores far below the EU average of 2.3%. The latter increased slightly since last year, which can mainly be attributed to a lower GDP linked to the pandemic.

Earlier this month, the Chamber of Commerce had criticised the recently published draft budget for 2022, which puts climate, housing and digitalisation as its priorities for the coming year. The Chamber had described the sum dedicated to research, development, and innovation as stagnant and said the country needed to build a more diversified economy for which it needed to invest in the according sectors.

The Institute for Management Development also remarked that Luxembourg had allocated more of its GDP to R&D in 2010 (1.5%) than in 2020.

Luxembourg think tank Idea had also reviewed the draft budget for 2022, surprised at the small sum allocated to the University of Luxembourg (€234.9m), and suggested a bigger increase of the budget rather than the yearly 2% increase until 2025 stated in the budget. 

The government has until the end of the year to review and vote on the budget.