Czech Republic’s R&D Spending Hits Record High in 2022, Yet Falls Short of EU Averages

Prague, Czech Republic, October 26, 2023 – In 2022, research and development (R&D) spending in the Czech Republic reached an all-time high, surging by 9.3% year-on-year to CZK 133.3 billion, as reported by the Czech Statistical Office (CSU). This remarkable growth was primarily attributed to increased R&D investment by businesses, which amounted to CZK 85.6 billion, representing an 11.8% increase compared to 2021.

However, despite this surge in R&D spending, the share of R&D investment relative to the gross domestic product (GDP) dipped to 1.96%, down from 2% in 2021. This decline places the Czech Republic below the European Union (EU) average, which has consistently hovered around 2.3% of GDP in recent years.

Martin Mana, director of the CSU’s Society Development Statistics Department, emphasized that the Czech Republic significantly lags behind neighboring countries such as Germany and Austria, both of which have consistently allocated more than 3% of their GDP to R&D since 2017.

In absolute terms, R&D spending in the Czech Republic in 2022 exceeded 2021 levels by CZK 11.4 billion. Statisticians noted that this increase was similar to the growth witnessed in 2017 and 2018, albeit with the backdrop of significantly higher inflation. When accounting for inflation, R&D spending remained roughly at 2021 levels. Furthermore, the R&D sector saw an increase in employment, with 123,000 individuals engaged in R&D work by the end of 2022, marking a rise of 15,000 over the past five years.

Companies played a pivotal role in driving the increase in R&D spending, with their investment rising by CZK 7.4 billion year-on-year, reaching a record CZK 85.6 billion. Notably, 91% of this funding came from corporate sources, both their own funds and other private sources, with the remaining 9% originating from public funds.

Meanwhile, spending in the university and government sectors witnessed a 5% increase, equating to an additional CZK 1 billion invested in each sector.

Public domestic sources contributed 30% to the total R&D funding, with CZK 40.4 billion allocated from public budgets in 2022, representing a CZK 1 billion increase from the prior year. Nevertheless, statisticians observed that the rate of growth in public funding slowed notably when compared to the substantial increase in state support for R&D between 2017 and 2019.

According to Marek Stampach from the CSU’s Society Development Statistics Department, foreign public sources, primarily consisting of EU funds, injected CZK 9.5 billion into R&D in 2022. This was the highest amount recorded since 2015, when foreign public support reached CZK 13.8 billion.

Article by Prague Forum

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