Research and Development On The Rise in Czech Republic

Confirming a trend from the previous two years, a significant increase in research and development (R&D) expenditure was recorded in the Czech Republic in the last year. In 2019, spending on R&D grew by 9% compared to 2018. Since 2015, more than 100,000 employees have been working in research and development in the Czech Republic. A gender gap within the field remains evident, according to experts. Photo credit: Freepik / For illustrative purposes. 

Czech Rep. Nov. 9 (BD) – According to new statistics released by the Czech Statistical Office, a significant increase in R&D expenditures was recorded in the Czech Republic in 2019 for the third year in a row. Such expenditures increased by 9% compared to 2018, reaching CZK 112 billion.

Over the last ten years, R&D-dedicated funds have more than doubled. Last year, they increased by CZK 8.9 billion year-on-year and exceeded CZK 100 billion for the second year in a row. Collectively, businesses, the state and the EU have spent a total of CZK 111.6 billion on R&D in the Czech Republic, representing 1.94% of the Czech GDP.

Since 2016, the Czech state has been increasingly investing in these areas, mobilizing funds from the state budget. Last year, the government supported R&D to the tune of CZK 37.5 billion. Three quarters of this funding went to research at universities (CZK 17.1 billion) and individual institutes of the Academy of Sciences (CZK 10.5 billion), while 10% was spent within private companies (CZK 3.8 billion).

However, businesses are still the main source of funding for research, and it is within these private companies that most research is carried out. In 2019, companies supplied a record CZK 69 billion of funding for R&D.

Moreover, foreign-controlled companies invest more in this area than domestic ones, as Martin Mana, director of the Czech Statistical Office’s department for development statistics, explained: “Last year, eight foreign-controlled companies spent more than CZK 1 billion on research and development in the Czech Republic. No domestic company spent such a large amount in that year.”

By the end of 2019, 117,100 people worked in R&D, contemplating both full-time and part-time workers. 

Over the last five years, their number has increased by 20,000. However, a gender gap seems to remain evident in the field: “Only 30% of our research and development staff are women. Together with the Netherlands, Germany and Austria, we have long been one of the countries with the lowest share of women in R&D personnel in the entire EU”, explained Marek Štampach of the Department of R&D and Business Information statistics.

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