Global estimate/R&D intensity (annual)

R&D expenditure 2020: €12.1 billion result in a research intensity of 3.23%

The annual global estimate for the expenditures on research and experimental development (R&D) for the current year 2021 was not conducted. The currently unforeseeable economic impacts of the corona crisis do, at the moment (April 2021), not allow a reliable estimate for the research intensity expected for the year 2021.

For 2020 the research intensity is estimated at 3.23%, which results in a strong increase compared to the year 2019 (3.10%). The increase of the intensity is, however, due to the pandemic-related economic downturn: A slight decrease of the R&D expenditures is accompanied by strong decrease of the economic performance, which results in a considerable increase of the intensity.

42% (around €5 billion) of total R&D expenditure in 2020 (around €12.1 billion) was funded directly by Austrian enterprises. More than €1 billion (8% of total R&D expenditure) was refunded to the enterprises by the R&D tax incentive (“Forschungsprämie”). 27% (approx. €3.3 million) was contributed by the federal government (“Bund”), 4.5% (around €550 million) by the regional governments (“Länder”). 16% (approx. €2 billion) originates from abroad, often from multi-national enterprises whose affiliates perform research in Austria.

Estimates are based on preliminary trends from the R&D survey 2019 as well as estimates from the largest R&D firms for 2020 and available documents on the final outlays and provisional budget appropriations of the federal government („Bund“) and the regional governments („Länder“). Figures for 2018 and 2019 were revised in the course of the estimates.

Gross Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) in Austriaby Financing Sectors 2005 - 2020
Gross Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) in Austria by Financing Sectors 1981 - 2004


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