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Government support for R&D, in % of GDP

data publication
05 April 2022
R&D government business Innovation
To be able to compare the Dutch government support for R&D with other countries, we look at the government contribution as a percentage of GDP. In this data publication we look at the direct government contribution, at the indirect government support, and at the government support for R&D of companies.

In short

  • Direct Dutch government support for R&D is comparable to the EU-27 average.
  • Six countries provide more indirect (fiscal) government support.
  • There is a large variation in the extent of public support for companies, with the Netherlands in a middle position.

Direct government support for R&D

Explanatory note
If we look at the direct government contribution to R&D (the figure above), we see that the Netherlands is comparable to the EU-27 average. Several governments of reference countries spend more on direct support than the Netherlands.

Direct and indirect government support for R&D

Explanatory note
The figure above shows that the Netherlands provides more indirect (fiscal) government support than most other countries. Six of the reference countries (Belgium, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy and Austria) spend more on tax support in 2019 than the Netherlands. There are major differences between countries in the scope of the tax support. In 2019, fiscal support as a percentage of GDP ranged from no fiscal support for countries such as Germany, Switzerland and Finland to 0.34 percent of GDP for the United Kingdom. The percentage for the Netherlands was 0.15. If we take direct and indirect support together, we see that the Netherlands is just above the average of EU-27 countries.

Direct and indirect government support for R&D of business enterprises

Explanatory note
The figure
 above focuses on the public support of R&D of companies, which consists of direct financial support and indirect fiscal support. The figure shows that:

  • there is a large variation in the extent of public support for companies, with the Netherlands in a middle position;
  • the share of fiscal support varies, with the Netherlands in a middle position at 62%.