Paul van Gerven
4 February 2022

The R&D expenditure of Dutch companies, institutions and the higher education sector increased by more than 3 percent to 18.4 billion euros in 2020, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS). The sharpest rise, over 4 percent, was seen in the private sector, whereas R&D expenditure by institutions and higher education was up only slightly up.

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Source: CBS

The R&D intensity, ie the total R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP, stood at 2.29 percent. That is close to the EU average. R&D intensity has changed little over the period 2013-2019, ranging between 2.14 and 2.18 percent. It went up in 2020 due to the fact that GDP fell by 3.8 percent while R&D expenditure remained at a similar level. Corporate R&D intensity as a percentage of GDP was 1.54 percent, also in line with the EU average.

The province of Noord-Brabant has the most knowledge-intensive private sector in the Netherlands. Over 2019 (note the different reference year), over 33 percent of private R&D expenditure was attributable to businesses in this region. With a ‘local’ corporate R&D intensity of 3.14 percent, Noord-Brabant has the 8th most R&D-intensive private sector in the EU.