World Economic Forum Releases Report on Which Countries Spend the Most on Research and Development

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Thursday, July 23rd, 2015


Research and development is the bedrock of innovation. A big investment in R&D indicates a thriving and entrepreneurial industrial spirit, and figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) highlight the countries spending the most – and least – on this important driver of economic growth, which covers three activities: basic research, applied research and experimental development.



Israel and Korea are the biggest spenders on R&D at 4.21% and 4.15% of GDP respectively. Japan, Finland and Sweden complete the top 5.

Germany and the United States have similar levels of R&D investment at just under 3%, and while China has built its economy making products designed and developed overseas, its research spend is rapidly catching up at 2% of GDP.

Of the OECD member nations, Chile spends the least on R&D at 0.36%, with Romania and Mexico only slightly ahead.