Rabo: public investments in R&D pay off

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Gradually raising public spending on R&D to 0.94 percent of GNP would generate 0.5 percentage points additional economic growth every year, according to calculations by Raboresearch. The scenario, based on a proposal originally put forward by an alliance of public knowledge institutes and employer federations (link in Dutch), would yield 2.5 euros for every euro invested, the researchers say.

The Dutch government spent 0.81 percent of GNP on R&D, according to the Rathenau Institute. This is on par with the EU-15 average but falls short of government spending by several countries with which the Netherlands often compares itself. Raising public R&D intensity to 0.94 percent would take the Netherlands to the level of Finland, one of the front-runners in R&D spending.

The Knowledge Coalition plan involves spending an additional amount of 21.2 billion euros in government money, with industry committing to investing 37.6 billion extra.