Among the EU Member States, the highest R & D intensities in 2014 were recorded in Finland (3.17 %), Sweden (3.16 %), Denmark (3.05 %) and Austria (2.99 %). There were nine Member States that reported R & D expenditure that was below 1.00 % of their GDP in 2014. Along with Greece, the Member States with the lowest R & D intensities were ones that joined the EU in 2004 or more recently, although it should be noted that Slovenia (2.39 %) reported an R & D intensity above the EU-28 average, while the Czech Republic (2.00 %), Estonia (1.44 %), Hungary (1.37 %) and Lithuania (1.01 %) also reported intensities above 1.00 %, Eurostat data show.
Nearly all EU Member States reported a higher R & D intensity in 2014 than in 2004, the exceptions being the two Member States with the highest intensities, Finland and Sweden, as well as Luxembourg and Croatia; there was no change in R & D intensity in Romania during the period under consideration. At the other end of the range, the biggest increases in R & D intensity (in percentage point terms) between 2004 and 2014 were recorded in Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Austria.
An evaluation of the data for the EU Member States also confirms that those countries with relatively high ratios of business enterprise expenditure on R & D relative to GDP — namely, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria and Germany — also reported relatively high overall R & D intensities (1.95 % or above). Apart from Germany, these Member States also featured at the top-end of the ranking of expenditure by the higher education sector, where the Netherlands and Estonia also had a relatively high ratio of R & D expenditure to GDP. Government R & D expenditure relative to GDP was highest in Germany, the Czech Republic and Luxembourg, while private non-profit sector R & D expenditure relative to GDP was highest in Cyprus.
Among the EU Member States, in 2013 business-funded R & D accounted for more than three fifths of total R & D expenditure in Germany, Slovenia, Sweden and Finland. By contrast, a majority of the expenditure on R & D made in Cyprus, Romania and Greece was funded by the government sector. There were also considerable differences in the relative importance of R & D funding from abroad, with relatively high shares — in excess of 20.0 % in 2013 — reported in Latvia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic and Malta. The higher education sector played a relatively small role in funding R & D expenditure in most Member States, exceeding 3.0 % only in the southern Member States of Cyprus, Spain and Portugal. Equally, the role of the private non-profit sector was generally small, exceeding 2.0 % of R & D expenditure in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy.
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Between 2004 and 2014 (between 2004 and 2013 for Latvia and Malta) the number of patent applications filed at the EPO fell for seven of the EU Member States. The largest contractions, in relative terms, were recorded for Croatia, Luxembourg, Malta and Germany and the largest, in absolute terms, for Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The increases recorded for the remaining 21 Member States were highest, in absolute terms, for Sweden, France, Austria, Poland and Finland, while in relative terms the largest increases were recorded for Latvia (where applications were 6.5 times as high in 2013 as they had been in 2004), Poland, Romania, Lithuania (where applications were between three and four times as high in 2014 as they had been in 2004), Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Portugal (where the number of applications was more than twice as high in 2014 as it had been in 2004).
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