Science. Technology. Innovation

Estonia’s research and development intensity is average among the European Union member states

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Rita Raudjärv, Tiina Pärson

Estonia’s research and development intensity indicator was 1.28 in 2016, placing Estonia 13th in the ranking of the European Union countries. Estonia is significantly ahead of Lithuania and Latvia, but still lags far behind Finland.

Ratio of research and development expenditure to GDP in the European Union, 2016

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Almost a half of Estonian enterprises are innovative

news release no 41

According to Statistics Estonia, 47.7% of Estonian enterprises were innovative in 2016. Industrial enterprises are the most active innovators.

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Expenditure on research and development decreased last year

news release no 128

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2016, the expenditure on research and development (R&D) in Estonia amounted to 270.3 million euros, which is 11% less than in 2015.

Share of R&D expenditure in GDP, 2008–2016

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Research and development

Eesti Statistika Kvartalikiri. 2/17. Quarterly Bulletin of Statistics Estonia (p. 131)
Rita Raudjärv, Tiina Pärson

Research and development (R&D) is creative activity undertaken on a continuous basis with the aim of increasing the stock of knowledge which serves as a foundation for developing new applications. Therefore, research and development is not only concerned with conducting research, but development also plays a very important role in it. Research and development includes basic and applied research and experimental development, which may partially overlap.

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Expenditure on research and development increased last year

news release no 132

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2015 the expenditure on research and development (R&D) in Estonia amounted to 302.8 million euros, which was 6% more than in 2014.

Diagram: R&D expenditure, 2005–2015

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Research and development

Eesti statistika aastaraamat. 2016. Statistical Yearbook of Estonia (p. 378)
Rita Raudjärv, Tiina Pärson

Research and experimental development (R&D) comprises creative work drawing on existing knowledge gained from research and undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this knowledge to produce new materials, products or devices, to install new processes, systems and services, or to improve substantially those already produced or installed. R&D includes basic and applied research and experimental development, which may partially overlap.

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Research and development

Minifacts about Estonia 2016 (p. 50)

In 2014, research and development (R&D) expenditure in Estonia equalled 286.7 million euros, which was 12% less than in 2013. R&D expenditure began to gradually fall in 2013. In 2010–2012, the oil industry made major investments in technological development, raising the total R&D expenditure to a notably higher level than before. With the opening of the factory in 2013, investments began to fall, the impact of which was clearly felt also in 2014.

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Expenditure on research and development fell last year

news release no 129

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2014 the expenditure on research and development (R&D) in Estonia amounted to 286.7 million euros, which was 12% less than in 2013.

Diagram: R&D expenditure, 2002–2014

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Research and development

Eesti statistika aastaraamat. 2015. Statistical Yearbook of Estonia (p. 380)
Rita Raudjärv, Tiina Pärson

Research and development (R&D) activities comprise creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge and to use this knowledge to devise new applications. Expenditure data include all R&D expenditure incurred on the national territory, regardless of the source of funds.

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Innovation

Minifacts about Estonia 2015 (p. 50)

According to Eurostat’s Community Innovation Survey of 2012, 47.6% of Estonian enterprises were innovative. Estonia’s rate of innovativeness was lower than the EU average (48.9%), but Estonia outperformed Latvia and Lithuania. The Estonian indicator value was 5 percentage points lower than that of Finland, although in the previous study in 2010 Estonian enterprises left Finnish ones behind. Despite the fact that, by the rate of innovativeness, Estonia has lost its top ranking, Estonia continues to belong to the leading group of the EU Member States by the ratio of innovative expenditure to turnover.

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