Belgium maintained its status as the leading spender on research and development (R&D) in the EU, allocating 3.44 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to these endeavors in 2022.

Eurostat, the European statistics office, disclosed this information on Friday.

The collective R&D expenditure across the EU amounted to 352 billion euros in 2022, according to preliminary figures. This marks a growth of over 6 percent from the previous year and represents a notable 45 percent increase since 2011. However, there was a slight decline in spending relative to GDP, dropping from 2.27 percent in 2021 to 2.22 percent in 2022.

Besides Belgium, three other EU nations surpassed the 3 percent mark of GDP spent on R&D in 2022: Sweden (3.40 percent), Austria (3.20 percent), and Germany (3.13 percent). Notably, Belgium also demonstrated the most substantial increase in R&D spending over the past decade, with a rise of +1.16 percentage points.

In contrast, eight EU countries allocated less than 1 percent of their GDP to R&D, with the lowest spenders being Romania (0.47%), Malta (0.65%), and Latvia (0.74%). Photo by TCchengdu, Wikimedia commons.