Ireland’s spending on research and innovation is below the EU average of 2pc, while the EU remains behind international competitors, such as the US, Japan, and South Korea.
A new report, State of the Innovation Union – taking stock 2010-2014, reveals China’s spend on research and innovation is already overtaking the EU.
The report shows Ireland’s spend on R&D at 1.75pc of GDP, far behind countries such as Finland (3.5pc), Sweden (3.4pc), Denmark (3pc) and Germany (2.9pc).
Outside Europe, South Korea leads the world, with 4pc of GDP committed to R&D, followed by Japan at 3.4pc and the US at 2.8pc, while China has just overtaken the EU (1.9pc) with 2pc of GDP going into R&D.
“Fostering innovation is widely accepted as the key to competitiveness and better quality of life, especially in Europe where we cannot compete on costs,” said Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science.
“This is a wake-up call to governments and businesses across the EU. Either we get it right now or we pay the price for years to come."
Geoghegan-Quinn said the report signals three key areas of reform, including improving the quality of strategy-making and policy-making that is underpinned by a stable multi-annual budget.
Another area of reform includes improving the quality of research and innovation programmes by reducing administrative burdens and more competitive allocation of funding.
And the final area of reform recommended involves improving the quality of public institutions performing research and innovation through new partnerships with industry.
Research image via Shutterstock