Romania’s R&D intensity still under a quarter of EU average
The total expenses incurred for research and development in Romania amounted to RON 5.6 bln (EUR 1.2 bln), the equivalent to 0.48% of the GDP, in 2021, according to the statistics office INS.
The European Union’s R&D intensity (expenditures to GDP ratio) rose to 2.3% in 2020 from 2.2% in 2019, amid Covid-19 hit nominal GDP, and the ratio must have remained well above 2% in 2021 - more than four times compared to Romania’s performance. Updated figures expected from Eurostat will show Romania again as the laggard in terms of R&D spending.
Not surprisingly, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization, Romania is at the bottom of the latest Global Innovation Index 2022, being the least innovative country in the region.
Of Romania’s total 0.5% R&D-to-GDP ratio in 2021, 0.19% of GDP came from the public sector and 0.29% from the private sector.
Of the total expenses, RON 5.1 bln (91.4% of the total) was current expenses, and RON 481.2 mln (8.6%) was capital expenses. Regarding current research and development expenses, 54.2% was intended for applied research and 18.8% for fundamental research. Also, expenses for experimental development represented 27%.
At the end of 2021, 47,011 employees were working in the R&D sector, more compared to the number registered at the end of the previous year (45,304). According to the sector in which they carried out their activity, most employees (19,054) were active in the higher education sector, while 12,635 were in the government sector. Less than a third of the total (14,954) was active in private companies.