Expenditures on research and development stagnated in 2020
No collapsing R&D expenditure despite of the crisis
The nominal decrease of the total Austrian R&D
expenditure from 2019 to 2020 is estimated to be 2%, while in the same
period the Gross Domestic Product fell by 5.5%. Once more, R&D expenditures
proved to be stable in times of crises. In the recession period around
2009 a similar phenomenon could be observed. A strong decrease of the
economic performance was accompanied by stagnating, but not by collapsing
R&D expenditures. In the business enterprise sector R&D is still
mainly conducted in manufacturing and business services, and more rarely
in such industries which are more affected by pandemic-related restrictions.
Likewise, R&D activities at universities and other public research
institutes are less affected by circumstances caused by COVID
Half of Austrian R&D expenditure funded by businesses
In 2020, businesses have financed research with €6.1 billion, which amounted to 50% of total Austrian R&D expenditure. R&D funding from enterprises also includes reimbursements from the research premium ("Forschungsprämie") which were reported by the Federal Ministry of Finance to be around €1 billion in 2020. €4.0 billion fall upon the government sector (approx. 33% of total R&D funding). The largest share comes from the federal government and amounts to €3.3 billion. The regional governments ("Bundesländer") contribute €550 million to R&D funding. €2 billion (16%) was financed from abroad, mostly from enterprises whose affiliates carry out R&D in Austria.
The financing structure of the R&D expenditure
has shifted between 2019 and 2020. A reduction of provision of business
funding goes along with a higher public funding. While in
Austrian research intensity significantly above the EU average
The Austrian research intensity in 2019 (3.10%) lies
behind Sweden (3.40%) and Germany (3.18%), is the third highest among
Due to the imponderabilities about the economic developments no estimation of the expected R&D expenditures for the current calendar year 2021 is carried out. Based on a forecast from around 100 large R&D performing firms, R&D expenditures 2021 will increase by 1% compared to 2020. If the economic development should normalise in 2021, a decrease of the research intensity can be expected.
For more detailed results and further information concerning R&D statistics please refer to our website.
Information on methods: The global estimate of gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) was carried out based on results from the R&D surveys as well as other currently available documents and information, particularly the R&D-relevant budget appropriations and final outlays of the federal government ("Bund") and the regional governments ("Länder"), the latest macro-economic forecasts, preliminary results from the R&D survey 2019 in the business enterprise sector and forecasts of around 150 large R&D performing enterprises on the year 2020. Expenditures on and funding for expenditures on R&D performed in Austria is presented according to the definitions of the Frascati Manual, which is valid world-wide (OECD, EU). National payments for R&D performed abroad is not included in the gross domestic expenditure on R&D. Reimbursements from the R&D tax incentive ("research premium") are, in line with the recommendations of the Frascati Manual, considered as funding by the business enterprise sector. Data for the years 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017 are results from the detailed R&D surveys among R&D performing institutions, which are usually carried out every two years. Values for the remaining years are estimates based information which was available at the time of the respective estimate.
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