Financial News: Greece has potential for growth in R&D, report

Research and Development in Greece stagnated over the last decade, recording an average growth rate of 0.58 pct of GDP, the European Commission said in a report on R&D and Competitiveness, published here on Thursday.
This stagnation has been caused by a decrease in the already very low private R&D intensity, which fell from 0.19 percent to 0.16 percent in 2007, i.e. an average annual fall rate of 2.1 percent, the report said.
Public R&D intensity, on the other hand, slightly increased, passing from 0.39 percent to 0.42 percent. It should be noted that overall GERD investment growth in Greece has been significant, but this growth was not as high as the rapid GDP growth during the years 2000-2006, hence the fall in R&D intensity.
Greece is one of the moderate innovators with a performance below the EU average. Actions to foster the research and innovation capacity will depend significantly on the financing from EU Structural Funds both at national and regional level: over the period 2007-2013. Greece is expected to spend around 4 billion euros on innovation. There is a large potential for job creation by strengthening the business environment, reinforcing R&D and innovation and making the relationship between the public and the private sector more dynamic. Existing and planned programmes support
The success of these programmes is linked with the need to increase the capacity of absorption of the R&D and innovation system. The innovativeness of the Greek economy is of a "catching-up" kind, depending on imported technology and know-how. EU programmes (the Research Framework Programme and the Structural Funds) play a major role in both R&D and innovation activity in Greece. In the field of human resources for research, Greece is below the EU average with 4.2 researchers (FTE) per thousand labour force (the EU average is 6.3).
While these figures are low the number of researchers and new doctoral graduates (ISCED 6) per thousand population aged 25-34 have been growing at a faster rate than the EU average (over the period 2000-2008), indicating that a catching up is underway.
The Greek national innovation system has grown faster than the EU on average, enhancing human resources, scientific quality and technological capacity. However, the private sector is less dynamic in the respect of total expenditure on R&D, thus reflecting the low demand for research-based knowledge from business enterprises. Restricted access to capital, especially for new firms, due to the reluctance of the financial institutions to finance innovation and risky investments is also among the factors hindering mobilisation of resources for R&D.
Greece is well placed regarding scientific production, reaching close to the average EU figures, 438 co-publications
per million population against 491 for the EU average. Reinforcing this indicator, Greece is above the average in the scientific publications within the top 10 percent most cited publications worldwide as a percentage of total scientific publications of the country. These two results indicate that Greek research is of a good degree of quality and show a considerable achievement.

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