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The EU vs US corporate R&D intensity gap: lagging behind in biotechnology


The Joint Research Council of the European Commission published a report about differences in corporate R&D investments between Europe and the United States. Conclusion: EU companies lag behind US companies in terms of R&D intensity in sectors like biotech.

A large share of R&D investments by the EU is done in lower-tech sectors like retail and energy, whilst the US is focusing and investing more in high-tech sectors like pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. The R&D intensity gap between EU and US for biotechnology is even increasing over the last decade.

This R&D intensity gap needs to be bridged if the EU wants to remain competitive and become a frontrunner in biotechnology and other high-tech sectors. Policymakers should focus more on policy options that encourage to develop new technologies and stimulate young companies to enter R&D intensive sectors.  

HollandBIO sees the report by the Joint Research Council as another confirmation of the trend that Europe needs to step up its R&D investments in key technologies. Other organizations like OECD and AWTI have also stressed this point over the past couple of years.

  • Click here for the summary and the full version of the report by the Joint Research Council.
  • Click here for the article ‘Europese Commissie en OESO pleiten voor overbruggen gaten financieringslandschap.’ (Dutch article).
  • Click here for the AWTI advice ‘Krachtiger kiezen voor sleuteltechnologieën.’ (Dutch report).