Total reseach and experimental development (R&D) expenditure in Cyprus in 2019 is estimated at €164.4 million which corresponds to 0.74% of the Gross Domestic Product, compared to €133.1 million or 0.62% of the GDP in 2018, on the the basis of the results of the survey carried out by the Statistical Service for the collection of data on scientific research and experimental development.
According to the figures released Thursday, despite the substantial increase of 23.5% observed in R&D expenditure in 2019 relative to 2018, the share of the GDP of Cyprus devoted to R&D activities continues to be low compared to other countries. For example, the share of R&D expenditure to the GDP of the Member States of the European Union stands at 2.20% on average (ranging from 0.50% in Romania, 0.57% in Malta and 0.64% in Latvia to 3.18% in Germany, 3.19% in Austria and 3.40% in Sweden).
It is worth noting that Cyprus exhibits one of the highest average annual growth rates in R&D expenditure, at 11% over the period 1998 – 2019.
By sector of performance, the business enterprises accounted in 2019 for €70,7 million or 43.0% of total R & D expenditure, the higher education institutions for €63.0 million or 38.3%, the private non-profit institutions for €18.6 million or 11.3% and the government for €12.2 million or 7.4%, comparing with shares of 40.5%, 40.1%, 11.0% and 8.4% respectively in 2018.
In the business enterprise sector, the information and communication branch constituted the principal source of R & D activity, with a total R & D expenditure of €40.7 million, while of importance was also the contribution of the manufacturing industry (and particularly the manufacturers of basic pharmaceutical products and preparations and of computer, electronic and optical products and electrical equipment) with €22.2 million.
About 22.4% of R & D activity in 2019 was financed from government funds (€36.8 million), as compared with €24.5 million or 18.4% in 2018, while €21.5 million was drawn from the budget of public universities and €37.5 million from sources from abroad (including European Union funds). An amount of €68.7 million or 41,8% of the total constituted the contribution of the private sector.
The biggest part of R & D expenditure was devoted to the natural sciences (€65.2 million), while engineering and technology absorbed €56.4 million, the social sciences €18.5 million, the medical sciences €10.6 million, the agricultural sciences €7.5 million and the humanities €6.2 million.
The number of persons engaged in R & D activities in 2019 stood at 4,082, compared to 3,754 in 2018. In full-time equivalent terms, this number is estimated at 2,121 persons, of which 827 or 39.0% were women. Of these persons, 33.1% were PhD degree holders.