Cover of higher education & research in France, facts and figures

📄 Sources:MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Insee
OECD.

 Coverage:Whole of France.

The term ‘R&D’ covers creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.

In order to measure total R&D expenditure, we can refer to either the performance of R&D or its funding by two key economic stakeholders: government and businesses. The term ‘government’ is understood here to cover government departments, dedicated state research institutions, higher education institutions and not-for-profit organisations. This definition is that used by the organisations responsible for comparing different countries.

Two main indicators are used:

gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD), which covers R&D carried out within France (metropolitan France and French overseas departments and territories), regardless of the source of funding;

gross national expenditure on research and development (GNERD), which covers funding from French businesses or government for R&D carried out in France or abroad.

These aggregates are obtained primarily from the results of annual surveys on resources dedicated to R&D by businesses and government. The surveys about the 2012 financial year were conducted in 2013 and 2014.

Changes in expenditure are measured in real terms, i.e. excluding price effects. Variations in R&D expenditure are estimated using the GDP deflator, i.e. the ratio of nominal GDP to real GDP. The method for calculating GDP was changed in May 2014 (GDP base year = 2010), see chapter A7.

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26 research and development efforts in France

This page has been updated. Read 26. Research and experimental development efforts in France in Higher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017

France’s gross domestic expenditure on research and development has doubled since 1982 and accounted for 2.23% of GDP (€46.5 billion) in 2012. Businesses alone implemented 65% of R&D expenditure and funded 59% of gross national expenditure on R&D.

In 2012, research and experimental development (R&D) carried out within France accounted for €46.5 billion in expenditure, 2.23% of the country’s national wealth (gross domestic product or GDP). Once adjusted to take account of price changes, gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) increased by 1.9% between 2011 and 2012. Businesses accounted for 65% of France’s GERD (table 26.01). In 2013, GERD should increase only slightly (+ 0.5% in real terms) due to stagnating government expenditure and a slowdown in spending by businesses. Total GERD is therefore expected to reach €47.2 billion (2.23% of GDP).

In 2012, funding of R&D by French businesses and government (gross national expenditure on R&D or GNERD) totalled €48.4 billion, equivalent to 2.32% of France’s national wealth (GDP). Businesses remained the primary source of funding for R&D in 2012, accounting for 59% of GNERD.

Between 1981 and 1993, R&D expenditure in France increased at a faster rate (4.0% a year on average in real terms) than GDP (2.1%). This trend subsequently reversed, with GERD rising by 1.4% a year on average between 1993 and 2008, while GDP continued to increase by 2.1%. In 2011, GDP returned to its 2008 level following a fall in 2009 (chart 26.02). Over the last 3 years between 2009 and 2012, R&D expenditure has increased by one percentage point more (on average 2.6% a year in real terms) than GDP (1.5%). While government R&D expenditure increased at a rate slightly lower than that of GDP (1.3%), business enterprise R&D expenditure rose by 3.3%.

Over the past ten years (2002-2012), the average annual increase in intramural business enterprise expenditure on R&D (BERD) (1.6%) in real terms was greater than intramural government expenditure on R&D (GOVERD) (1.0%). The gap between businesses and government was even more marked when it came to the increase in GNERD, with business expenditure rising by 2.6% a year on average between 2002 and 2012, as compared with 0.7% for government expenditure. Since 1995, the contribution made by businesses to R&D funding has been greater than that of government (chart 26.03).

The difference between France’s total GERD and total GNERD represents the balance of R&D trade between France and other countries, including international organisations (table 26.01). In 2012, funding received from abroad and from international organisations (€3.5 billion) accounted for 7.6% of GERD financing. This was less than that spent by the French government and French businesses abroad (€5.4 billion). The government’s balance of trade with other countries was largely negative (€1.5 billion), whereas that for businesses was only €0.4 billion. The key international stakeholders, excluding major industrial groups such as Airbus Group, were the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Union (EU) and the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).

With 2.23% of GDP dedicated to intramural research in 2012, France did not meet the 3% target set by the EU as part of the Europe 2020 strategy or its own target. It ranked 5th among the OECD’s six largest countries in terms of GERD (chart 26.04), behind South Korea (4.4%), Japan (3.4%), Germany (3.0%) and the United States (2.8%), but ahead of the United Kingdom (1.7%). Within the EU, it was the countries with medium-sized economies that devoted the largest proportion of their GDP to R&D: Finland (3.6%) and Sweden (3.4%).

 Coverage:Whole of France.

How to cite this paper :

DAVID Catherine. Research and development efforts in France. In: Higher education & research in France, facts and figures - 49 indicators [online]. KABLA-LANGLOIS Isabelle (dir.). Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, 2015. 8th ed. Chapter 26, 62-63 [Accessed 07/21/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-139433-9. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/EESR8EN_R_26-research_and_development_efforts_in_france.php

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The term ‘R&D’ covers creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.

In order to measure total R&D expenditure, we can refer to either the performance of R&D or its funding by two key economic stakeholders: government and businesses. The term ‘government’ is understood here to cover government departments, dedicated state research institutions, higher education institutions and not-for-profit organisations. This definition is that used by the organisations responsible for comparing different countries.

Two main indicators are used:

gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD), which covers R&D carried out within France (metropolitan France and French overseas departments and territories), regardless of the source of funding;

gross national expenditure on research and development (GNERD), which covers funding from French businesses or government for R&D carried out in France or abroad.

These aggregates are obtained primarily from the results of annual surveys on resources dedicated to R&D by businesses and government. The surveys about the 2012 financial year were conducted in 2013 and 2014.

Changes in expenditure are measured in real terms, i.e. excluding price effects. Variations in R&D expenditure are estimated using the GDP deflator, i.e. the ratio of nominal GDP to real GDP. The method for calculating GDP was changed in May 2014 (GDP base year = 2010), see chapter A7.

 

Key figures


Gross domestic expenditure on R&D
47,159 M
 
Estimate for 2013
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "26. research and development efforts in France".

Coverage: prix courants
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Gross domestic expenditure on R&D
46,545 M
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "26. research and development efforts in France".

Coverage: prix courants
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Gross national expenditure on R&D
48,446 M
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "26. research and development efforts in France".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
R&D effort (GERD as a % of GDP)
2.23%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "26. research and development efforts in France".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES, Insee
  See more key figures  
Intramural business enterprise R&D expenditure
30,071 M
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "26. research and development efforts in France".

Coverage: prix courants
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Intramural Government R&D expenditure
16,474 M
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "26. research and development efforts in France".

Coverage: prix courants
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
R&D effort (GERD as a % of GDP)
2.23%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "26. research and development efforts in France".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES

26.01 Funding and performance of R&D in France

 
20093 2010 4 20115 2012 6 2013 7
Performance of R&D
GERD in current prices (€M) 41,758 43,469 45,112 46,545 47,159
in 2010 prices (€M) 42,209 43,469 44,690 45,561 45,799
as % of GDP (1) 2.15 2.18 2.19 2.23 2.23
Composition of GERD Proportion of business enterprise expenditure in GERD (%) 63.3 63.2 64.0 64.6 64.8
Proportion of government expenditure in GERD (%)2 36.7 36.8 36.0 35.4 35.2
Funding of R&D
GNERD in current prices (€M) 43,411 44,841 46,474 48,446
in 2010 prices (€M) 43,880 44,841 46,039 47,422
as % of GDP 2.24 2.24 2.26 2.32
Composition of GNERD Proportion of business enterprise expenditure in GNERD (%) 56.6 57.2 58.9 59.5
Proportion of government expenditure in GNERD (%) 2 43.4 42.8 41.1 40.5
International R&D trade
Resources (in current €M) 3,013 3,279 3,495 3,545
Expenditure (in current €M) 4,667 4,650 4,857 5,446
Balance (in current €M) -1,653 -1,372 -1,362 -1,901
 

1 GDP in June 2014, change of methodology and 2010 as base year.
2 State and not-for-profit institutions (government, higher education and private non-profit sector).
3 2009 figures recalculated to make them comparable with 2010.
4 Change of methodology.
5 Final results.
6 Semi-finalised results.
7 Estimates.

 Coverage: Whole of France.

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26.02 Changes (1981-2013) in gross domestic expenditure on R&D and in the GERD/GDP ratio 1

Changes in GERD in real terms
GERD/GDP ratio
 
 

1 GDP base year = 2010.

 Coverage: Whole of France.

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26.03 Changes (1981-2013) in business enterprise and government GERD and GNERD (in €M at 2010 prices)

  
BERD
GOVERD
National government R&D expenditure
National business enterprise R&D expenditure
 
 

Break in series in 1999.
r Change of methodology, revised data.

 Coverage: Whole of France.

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26.04 Gross domestic expenditure on R&D as a percentage of GDP 1 (2012)

KR
 
FI
JP
DE
OECD 2
NL
EU-28 2
CA
IT
 
 
IL
SE
TW
US 4
FR 3
CN
GB
ES
 
RU
  
BERD/GDP
GOVERD/GDP
 
 

1 The European System of Accounts (ESA 2008) now recommends that funds spent by economic agents on R&D should be counted as investments, whereas they were previously categorised as intermediate consumption. As a result, countries that adopted this standard have had to significantly revise their level of GDP upwards for the entire period. In this graph, only data for the United States and France have been revised.
2 Estimate.
3 GDP revised in 2014, base year = 2010.
4 Excluding (all or part of) capital expenditure.

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Related statistical publications

 Note flash - Enseignement supérieur & Recherche 01 - Intramural business enterprise R&D expenditure up 1.9% in 2013 - Florian Lezec, Anna Testas - March 2015
According to provisional data, in 2013 intramural business enterprise R&D expenditure (BERD) by firms established in France stood at €30.9 billion. When corrected for price variations, BERD remained buoyant, rising 1.9% in one year. This progress was nevertheless slow in comparison to previous years (+2.9% in 2012, +4.1% in 2011 and +2.8% in 2010). The research effort of business enterprises, which is the ratio of BERD to gross domestic product (GDP), increased to reach 1.46% in 2013, after 1.44% in 2012.
 Repères et références statistiques sur les enseignements, la formation et la recherche - RERS - RERS - 2014 - Recherche et développement - 2014
La R&D française est présentée du point de vue des effectifs de chercheurs, de la dépense intérieure et extérieure, de la répartition des financements entre acteurs privés et publics.
 Note d'information SIES 14.07 - Research and development expenditure in France in 2012 - Christophe Dixte, Anna Testas - August 2014
In 2012, gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD) stood at 46.5 billion euros (€bn), an increase of 1.9% in volume against 2011.

The rise in GERD was the result of a steady increase in business R&D expenditure, with government expenditure remaining stable. The country's research effort, measured as a ratio of GERD to gross domestic product (GDP), was 2.23% in 2012. It is likely to remain stable at 2.23% in 2013.

Due to a slowdown in business R&D expenditure, GERD is in fact likely to increase by 0.5% in volume in 2013 (provisional results), a rate that is only slightly higher than that of GDP.

In 2012, R&D activities in business enterprises and in government mobilised 412,000 full-time equivalent staff.

Other editions

Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017
26 - Research and experimental development efforts in France - Catherine David
Gross domestic expenditures on experimental research and development (GERD) has grown at an average annual rate of 1.6% over the past 15 years. This growth was driven mainly by the dynamism of domestic R&D spending by enterprises (1.9% on average annually). GERD accounts for 2.24% of GDP in 2014, or 47.9 billion euros. The companies carry out 65% of the R&D work carried out on the national territory and finance 61% of the national R&D expenditure [Consult the following page]
Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 9th edition - November 2016
27 - research and experimental development efforts in France - Catherine David
France’s gross domestic expenditure on research and experimental development (GERD) has doubled since 1983 and accounted for 2.24% of GDP (€47.5 billion) in 2013. Businesses alone implemented 65% of R&D expenditure in France and funded 59% of gross national expenditure on R&D [Consult the following page]

Translation

 Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheL'état de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche en France n°8 - juin 2015
26 - l’effort de recherche et développement en France - Catherine David
Multipliée par 2 depuis 1982, la dépense intérieure de recherche et développement représente 2,23 % du PIB en 2012, soit 46,5 milliards d’euros. À elles seules, les entreprises exécutent 65 % des dépenses de R&D et financent 59 % de la dépense nationale de R&D [Consult the following page in french]


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