The 3% R&D objective: a target looking for the right policies

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Xabier Goenaga
Head of the "Knowledge for Growth" Unit of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
Thursday, 25 November 2010 - 12:30

There is a large body of evidence confirming that investment in R&D leads to long-term increases of GDP and employment levels and there is a positive impact of corporate R&D on company productivity and market growth. For this reasons it was decided to establish in 2002 an EU objective of investing in Europe 3 % of GDP in R&D, out of which two thirds should come from the private sector.  Despite the very limited progress towards this objective   between 2002 and 2010, it was ratified by the European Council this year as one of the headline objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy.  The presentation will: 


 - address EU industrial structures and their impact on progress towards the 3 % objective

- underline that policies just aiming at across-the-board increases in R&D intensities will have only limited success in achieving the objective

- highlight that the re-structuring of EU industry towards higher growth sectors and  stimulating  the growth of young innovative firms will require integrated supply and demand side policies

-  introduce Innovation Partnerships and how they can be one of the tools to make supply and demand to work more effectively


Ciudad Politécnica de la Innovación | Edificio 8G, Acceso A, Planta 4ª (Sala Innova. Cubo Verde) 

Universidad Politécnica de Valencia | Camino de Vera s/n

Short CV: 

Xabier Goenaga has a PhD from the University of Wales and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the École Solvay in Brussels.  

He has been working for the European Commission since 1990, where he has been responsible for the management of programmes in the fields of measurements, food, agro-industry and SME, as well as for the analysis of the R&D policies of the Member States in the context of the Lisbon Strategy.

Currently he works at the Institute of Prospective Technological Studies of the Joint Research Centre in Seville (JRC-IPTS) where he leads the Knowledge for Growth Unit dealing with the analysis of research, innovation and regional policies.