The Portuguese government has agreed a target to almost double the country’s spending on R&D by 2030, taking it to the 3 per cent of GDP that has long been the target for the EU as a whole.
A resolution published on 29 December said that public spending on R&D should hit 1 per cent of GDP by 2030, with private spending making up the remaining 2 per cent.
In 2020, public and private spending on R&D amounted to 0.66 and 0.96 per cent of GDP respectively, the government said, meaning public spending must increase by about half and private spending must more than double to reach the targets.
Alongside the increased spending, the government promised reforms and modernisation of Portugal’s R&D sector. It said the resolution would support innovation and the promotion of scientific culture, and help to stimulate a restructuring of the economy based on knowledge.
Last year, the government reported that Portugal’s spending on R&D had increased for five consecutive years, reaching a record high of €3.2 billion in 2020. Growth was driven in particular by the business sector, it said.
The EU as a whole has a target to spend 3 per cent of its GDP on R&D, but has for decades struggled to get actual spending much higher than 2 per cent. Its spending on R&D dropped by €1bn in 2020, but this was an increase to 2.3 per cent of GDP because the economy was shrunk by the Covid-19 pandemic.