Press release: 12.793-091/22

Austrian research intensity expected to be 3.26% in 2022

Vienna, 2022-04-22 – According to Statistics Austria's estimate, slightly above €14.1 billion will be spent on Research and Development (R&D) in Austria in 2022, which is an expected increase of 9.3% compared to 2021 and corresponds to 3.26% of the nominal gross domestic product (GDP). In 2021, the R&D intensity was estimated at 3.21%. A stronger increase in R&D intensity could be observed between 2019 and 2020 when it increased from 3.13% to 3.22%. This increase was, however, not due to a rise in R&D expenditures, but due to a decrease of economic performance because of the COVID-19 crisis. The nominal GDP suffered from a higher decrease than R&D expenditures. Austria's R&D intensity increased significantly in the last decades. It rose from 1.45% of the GDP in 1993 to 2.07% in 2002 and further to 2.91% in 2012 while still missing the EU target of 3%. The estimate for 2022 is subject to particular uncertainty given the unpredictability of the overall economic development due to COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine.

Half of Austrian R&D expenditure funded by businesses

In 2022, businesses will presumably fund 51% of the total Austrian R&D expenditure (€7.16 bn). R&D funding by enterprises also includes reimbursements of R&D costs via the research premium ("Forschungsprämie") which the Federal Ministry of Finance estimates at €1 billion in 2022. The government sector will fund about €4.7 bn which amounts to approx. 33% of total R&D funding. The largest share comes from the federal government (€3.9 bn). The regional governments ("Bundesländer") will contribute somewhat more than €600 million to R&D funding. €2.2 bn (16%) will be financed from abroad, mostly by enterprises whose affiliates carry out R&D in Austria.

Austrian research intensity third within the EU

Compared to other EU countries, Austria had the third highest R&D expenditure in 2020; it was only surpassed by Sweden (3.53%) and Belgium (3.48%). Only two more countries have met the European target of an R&D intensity of 3%: Germany (3.14%) and Denmark (3.03%). Finland (2.94%) and France (2.35%) are the two other countries whose R&D intensity lies above the EU average. Due to the massive economic crisis in 2020 the R&D intensity of the EU-27 increased significantly from 2.23% to 2.32%, as has happened in Austria. The EU average, however, lies considerably below the research expenditure of other areas. South Korea spent 4.63% of the gross domestic product on research, Japan 3.20%, Switzerland 3.15%, and the USA 3.05% (all 2019). In 2019, China's R&D intensity was equal to the EU-27 at 2.23%.

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) is based on results from 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 and estimates 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). 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, 2017, and 2019 are results from 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 on information which was available at the time of the respective estimate.


Gross domestic expenditure on R&D in Austria from 2000 to 2022
YearGross domestic expenditure on R&D
In million €As percentage of GDP
20004 028.671.89
20014 393.091.99
20024 684.312.07
20035 041.982.17
20045 249.552.17
20056 029.812.37
20066 318.592.36
20076 867.822.42
20087 548.062.57
20097 479.752.60
20108 066.442.73
20118 276.342.67
20129 287.842.91
20139 571.282.95
201410 275.183.08
201510 499.153.05
201611 145.023.12
201711 289.783.06
201811 912.003.09
201912 441.233.13
202012 199.023.22
202112 951.773.21
202214 150.563.26

For further inquiries please contact Directorate Social Statistics, Statistics Austria:  
Andreas SCHIEFER, Tel. +43 1 71128-7162 resp. 

Media owner, producer and publisher: 
STATISTICS AUSTRIA, Federal Institution under Public Law 
1110 Vienna, Austria, Guglgasse 13, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7777