According to Eurostat, Estonia spent 1.8 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on research and development (R&D) in 2020, while the average in the European Union was 2.3 percent.
In 2020, EU member states spent around €311 billion on R&D, up one billion from 2019, Eurostat said.
The share of research and development in the EU's GDP was 2.3 percent last year, up 0.1 percentage points from the year before. However, according to Eurostat, this increase is due to lower GDP as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The entrepreneurship sector continues to be the main sector to which R&D investment went, accounting for 66 percent. This was followed by the higher education sector with 22 percent and the general government sector with 12 percent.
The highest R&D intensity was recorded in Belgium and Sweden, where it accounted for 3.5 percent of GDP. Austria and Germany followed with 3.2 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.
At the other end of the scale, six member states had an R&D intensity below 1 percent. Romania spent the least with 0.5 percent, followed by Malta and Latvia with 0.7 percent.
Over the last ten years, R&D spending has risen in 24 member states, with the largest increase of 1.5 percentage points in Belgium. However, Finland has reduced funding the most, by a total of 0.8 percentage points.
Editor: Marcus Turovski