In September, Statistics Iceland published figures on R&D expenditures in Iceland for 2014, which amounted to 1.89% of the country’s GDP. This week, the European Commission published 2014 results for Europe. According to those figures, Iceland is in the eleventh place of the reported 30 European countries, in terms of percentages of GDP. The countries that are the closest to Iceland on the list are the UK, with 1.72% of GDP, and the Netherlands, with 1.97% of GDP. The three countries that have the highest R&D expenditures are Finland, Sweden and Denmark; also the only three countries where the percentage of GDP surpasses three percent. In Norway, the percentage is 1.71%, which is close to the expenditures of Iceland, as well as the UK. One of the 2020 goals of the European Union is for R&D expenditures to reach three percentages in that year. The average for the European Union in 2014 was 2.03%.
The R&D expenditures are within the business enterprise sector; the higher education sector; government; and private non-profit organisations, and the results are reported for each of those sectors. In the higher education sector, Iceland is among the five leading countries, with 0.67% of GDP. Above Iceland are Austria and Finland (0.73%), Sweden (0.92%), and Denmark (1.03%). In the government sector, Iceland is low on the list, with 0.12% of GDP, with a percentage similar to Sweden, the UK and Austria. In the business enterprise sector, Iceland is in the thirteenth place of the list, with 1.07% of GDP. Both the UK and the Netherlands have 1.11% of GDP, the Czech Rep. 1.12% and Ireland 1.14%.