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Published: 31 October 2013

Considerable decrease in R&D expenditure in 2012

Research and development expenditure amounted to EUR 6.8 billion in 2012. According to the statistics on research and development compiled by Statistics Finland, R&D expenditure fell by EUR 330 million from the previous year. The drop concerned almost entirely the private sector, where the expenditure used on research and development activity contracted by EUR 350 million. In the industry of electronics, computers and electrical equipment, R&D expenditure went down by EUR 570 million, but other industries, especially machinery and equipment, reported higher R&D expenditure than in the previous year.

Development of real R&D expenditure by sector in 1995 to 2012 (1995=100)

Development of real R&D expenditure by sector in 1995 to 2012 (1995=100)
Deflated by the GDP price index

Due to the decrease in R&D expenditure, the GDP share of research expenditure also diminished. In 2012, the GDP share was 3.55 per cent, having been 3.80 per cent twelve months earlier. In 2013, expenditure is estimated to remain more or less the same, but the GDP share is assessed to fall to 3.49 per cent.

R&D expenditure has grown fast from the mid-1990s until 2008, when the real value of expenditure was over 2.5 times as high as in 1995. Annual average real growth was around 13 per cent until the turn of the millennium. After this, the growth slowed down to around four per cent, until in 2009 the growth halted and turned to a decline of over seven per cent in 2012. This development was mainly led by enterprises. For enterprises, the average real annual growth was at first 16 per cent and after the turn of the millennium, it settled at five per cent, until the real growth in expenditure ended in 2008. During the next four years, the real decrease in enterprises' R&D expenditure was nearly 15 per cent.

In the university sector, real expenditure in research and development has grown over the period to more than 2.5-fold, but even in this sector the growth seems to have halted last year. In the public sector, the real growth in expenditure has been fairly slow over the whole reference period, at just close on two per cent, on average.

Source: Research and development 2012, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Marianne Kaplas 09 1734 3421, Jukka Partanen 09 1734 3507, Tero Luhtala 09 1734 3327,

Director in charge: Hannele Orjala

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Updated 31.10.2013

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Research and development [e-publication].
ISSN=2342-6721. 2012. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 16.4.2024].
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