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R&D investment reached 3,203 million euros in 2020


Portugal recorded 3,203 million euros of total expenditure on R&D activities in 2020, representing 1.58% of the national GDP according to the provisional results of the Survey on National Scientific and Technological Potential (IPCTN20). This figure represents an increase of 7% (211 million euros) compared to 2019, with continued growth in R&D investment for the fifth consecutive year.

More than 4300 companies registered R&D activities in 2020, which meant an increase of 541, representing 14% more compared to 2019. Corporate investment in R&D also grew again, up 15%, in 2019 it was 10%, with corporate spending on R&D activities accounting for €1,811 million in 2020, translating to 0.89% of GDP and 57% of total spending.

The number of researchers in the active population grew in 2020, with 10.2 researchers per thousand active, when in 2019 it was 9.6. 52,535 full-time equivalent (FTE) researchers were recorded, up about 2,369 from 2019. Higher Education includes 28,732 FTE researchers, about 55%, while companies include 21,389, 41% of the total. The number of researchers in companies grew by 2,169 FTEs, an increase of 11% in 2020, and in the State sector, where State Laboratories are included, the number of researchers continues to represent about 3% of the total, with 1,601 FTEs.

The total number of human resources in R&D activities (i.e. total researchers, technicians and other professionals) reaches 12.7 people (FTE) per thousand active inhabitants, reaching 65,356 FTEs in 2020. In companies, the number of human resources in R&D activities also grows by more than 3,400 (13% increase), totaling 30,206 FTEs in 2020.

These figures are revealed by provisional data from the Survey on National Scientific and Technological Potential (IPCTN) for 2020, published by the Directorate General of Education and Science Statistics (DGEEC), based on internationally harmonized methodologies by EUROSTAT and OECD.

The Survey on National Scientific and Technological Potential (IPCTN) is an annual census operation since 2007 (it was biennial since 1982), which is the basis for official statistical information on human and financial resources allocated to R&D activities in Portugal. The final data will be released in due course by DGEEC after final validation of all the results of this statistical operation.

Chart: source MCTES