Fall in research and development expenditure in Estonia biggest in the EU ({{commentsTotal}})

Research efforts at Estonia's universities have been boosted by EU funds in the past. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

The expenditure on research and development (R&D) in Estonia equaled 326 million euros in 2013, which is 14 percent less than in 2012.

According to Statistics Estonia, the news is no reason to raise the alarm, as the total R&D expenditure indicator in a small country is often influenced by the start or termination of a single large-scale project, in this case the end of the development of new oil production technology.

The ratio of R&D expenditure to GDP (R&D intensity) declined from 2.16 percent in 2012 to 1.74 percent in 2013. This was the biggest drop – 19 percent – among the EU member states, as the decrease in R&D expenditure was amplified by the 6 percent increase in the GDP.

The long-term trend for Estonia has not changed and the convergence to the EU mean is continuing, said Statistics Estonia. In 2002, the Estonian R&D expenditure per inhabitant amounted to just 11 percent of the EU average, whereas it had reached 46 percent by the end of 2013.

In 2013, 47 percent of the total R&D expenditure was government funded. That is 6 percent more than in 2012.

R&D financing amounts to 2.13 percent of the total state budget.

Estonia's R&D expenditure from 2002-2013 compared to EU average:

Estonia's R&D expenditure compared to OECD countries:

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