Research and Development in Malta: 2016-2018

Thursday, July 30, 2020

In 2018, total expenditure on Research and Development amounted to €74.6 million, or 0.6 per cent of GDP.

R&D Expenditure

During 2018, an increase in total expenditure on R&D activities of €8.7 million, or 13.2 per cent, was registered. The Business Enterprise sector contributed to 63 per cent of total R&D, whereas the Higher Education and Government sectors contributed to 35.9 and 1.2 per cent respectively.

R&D expenditure was primarily dedicated to Basic Research, which accounted for 52.2 per cent of the total in 2018, followed by Applied Research (33.3 per cent) and Experimental Development (14.5 per cent).

In 2018, all three sectors reported an increase in R&D expenditure compared to 2017. The increased expenditure on R&D was triggered by higher outlays on recurrent expenditure of €7.5 million, as well as by an increase in capital expenditure of €1.2 million. Labour costs represented 67.9 per cent of total R&D expenditure, followed by recurrent expenditure (24.3 per cent) and capital projects (7.9 per cent).

In 2018, the highest R&D expenditure was recorded in Engineering and Technology, which accounted for 41.9 per cent of total expenditure, followed by Natural sciences (27.1 per cent) and Medical sciences (13.6 per cent). Year-on-year comparisons show that the highest increase was registered in Natural sciences (€5.7 million), followed by Social sciences (€1.4 million). The majority of the R&D activity in Engineering and Technology and Natural sciences was undertaken by the Business Enterprise sector, whereas research in relation to Medical and Social sciences was mainly carried out by the Higher Education sector.

Each sector mostly funded its own research, supplemented by foreign funds, mainly Local business enterprise funds for the Business Enterprise sector, General university funds for the Higher Education sector and EU funds and Direct government funds for the Government sector. Foreign funds for R&D reached €6.6 million, or 8.9 per cent of total funds.


R&D Employment

In 2018, 2,502 employees were engaged in R&D work, of whom 1,510 spent a proportion of their time on R&D projects, while 992 employees dedicated their entire working time on R&D. The highest R&D employment was registered in the Higher Education sector, with 1,329 employees, followed by the Business Enterprise sector, with 1,090 employees. Male employment was predominant among researchers and technicians. Females accounted for 35.6 per cent of total R&D employment.

With regard to R&D employment by major fi eld of science, in 2018, the highest employment was recorded in Engineering and Technology, with 730 employees, followed by Natural and Social sciences, with 702 and 450 employees respectively. R&D Government Budget Allocations In 2019, Government budget allocations for R&D (GBARD) amounted to €29.9 million, an increase of €4 million when compared to 2018. The highest GBARD outlays were recorded in the socio-economic activities related to Health (€6.2 million), Industrial production and technology (€5.5 million) and Political and social systems, structures and processes (€5.1 million) . For more information click here

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