Malta was one of eight EU member states which recorded a Research and Development (R&D) intensity below 1 per cent in 2017, according to statistics agency Eurostat.
Malta invested just 0.55 per cent of its GDP on R&D, slightly ahead of Romania (0.5 per cent) and Latvia (0.51 per cent), but behind other low performers, including Cyprus (0.56 per cent), Bulgaria (0.75 per cent), Croatia (0.86 per cent), and Lithuania and Slovakia (both 0.88 per cent).
In contrast, the highest R&D intensities were recorded in Sweden (3.33 per cent) and Austria (3.16 per cent), followed by Denmark (3.06 per cent) and Germany (3.02 per cent), all with R&D expenditure above 3 per cent of GDP.
Malta was the only country in the EU where R&D intensity in 2017 was at the same level it was in 2007. Over the last 10 years, R&D intensity rose in 21 member states, with the highest increases recorded in Austria and Belgium (both +0.74 pp). It also decreased in six member states, most notably Finland (-0.59 pp) and Luxembourg (-0.33 pp).
Overall, the EU spent altogether almost €320 billion on Research & Development (R&D), equivalent to 2.07 per cent of the bloc’s entire GDP.