3.4Total R&D personnel

By Machteld Hoskens (KU Leuven), Wytse Joosten (KU Leuven), Laura Verheyden (KU Leuven), and Peter Viaene (EWI).

In 2019, the total number of R&D personnel for Flanders reached 59,283 full-time equivalents (FTE), which is an increase of 32.3% since 2014. Over the past five years, the number of research staff has increased both in companies and in the public sector. The public sector groups together all research institutes from the higher education sector (HES), the government sector (GOV), and the private not-for-profit sector (PNP). The majority of the R&D personnel (64.8%) work in the private sector (BES). The overall share of the public component (PNP, HES, and GOV) rather declines since 2012. The HES component is the most important element of the public component (with 15,223 FTE or 72.2%) in 2019, followed by the GOV component (5,372 FTE or 26.4%).

Figure 1. Evolution of R&D personnel in FTE from 2013 to 2019

Private sectorPublic sector0 FTE10000 FTE20000 FTE30000 FTE40000 FTE50000 FTE60000 FTER&D personnel in FTE201320142015201620172018201901000020000300004000050000600002013201420152016201720182019Public sector: 19153 FTE Private sectorPublic sector0 FTE10000 FTE20000 FTE30000 FTE40000 FTE50000 FTE60000 FTER&D personnel in FTE201320142015201620172018201901000020000300004000050000600002013201420152016201720182019 Private sectorPublic sector0 FTE20000 FTE40000 FTE60000 FTER&D personnel in FTE201320142015201620172018201902000040000600002013201420152016201720182019

The level of R&D personnel corresponds to 0.90% (2019) of the total population and 1.91% (2019) of the labour force. Flanders therefore belongs to the top with regard to R&D personnel numbers as a proportion of the labour force. The Flemish figure is higher than the EU27 average, but Denmark still has a significant lead.

Figure 2. International position of Flanders for total R&D personnel as % of labour force

China (2019)Russia* (2019)Spain* (2019)Japan* (2019)EU27* (2019)Italy* (2019)UK* (2018)France* (2019)Sweden* (2019)Norway* (2018)Germany* (2019)The Netherlands* (2019)Austria* (2019)Belgium* (2019)Finland* (2019)Korea (2019)Flanders (2019)Denmark* (2019)0,00%0,20%0,40%0,60%0,80%1,00%1,20%1,40%1,60%1,80%2,00%2,20%Percentage R&D personnel of labour forceChina (2019)Russia* (2019)Spain* (2019)Japan* (2019)EU27* (2019)Italy* (2019)UK* (2018)France* (2019)Sweden* (2019)Norway* (2018)Germany* (2019)The Netherlands* (2019)Austria* (2019)Belgium* (2019)Finland* (2019)Korea (2019)Flanders (2019)Denmark* (2019)0,000,200,400,600,801,001,201,401,601,802,002,20 China (2019)Russia* (2019)Spain* (2019)Japan* (2019)EU27* (2019)Italy* (2019)UK* (2018)France* (2019)Sweden* (2019)Norway* (2018)Germany* (2019)The Netherlands* (2019)Austria* (2019)Belgium* (2019)Finland* (2019)Korea (2019)Flanders (2019)Denmark* (2019)0,00%0,50%1,00%1,50%2,00%Percentage R&D personnel of labour forceChina (2019)Russia* (2019)Spain* (2019)Japan* (2019)EU27* (2019)Italy* (2019)UK* (2018)France* (2019)Sweden* (2019)Norway* (2018)Germany* (2019)The Netherlands* (2019)Austria* (2019)Belgium* (2019)Finland* (2019)Korea (2019)Flanders (2019)Denmark* (2019)0,000,501,001,502,00 China (2019)Russia* (2019)Spain* (2019)Japan* (2019)EU27* (2019)Italy* (2019)UK* (2018)France* (2019)Sweden* (2019)Norway* (2018)Germany* (2019)The Netherlands* (2019)Austria* (2019)Belgium* (2019)Finland* (2019)Korea (2019)Flanders (2019)Denmark* (2019)0,00%0,50%1,00%1,50%2,00%Percentage R&D personnel of labour forceChina (2019)Russia* (2019)Spain* (2019)Japan* (2019)EU27* (2019)Italy* (2019)UK* (2018)France* (2019)Sweden* (2019)Norway* (2018)Germany* (2019)The Netherlands* (2019)Austria* (2019)Belgium* (2019)Finland* (2019)Korea (2019)Flanders (2019)Denmark* (2019)0,000,501,001,502,00

* Denmark: provisional; Spain, Italy, Russia, EU27, UK, Japan, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark: estimation; Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain: other definition

Source: OECD database, Main Science and Technology Indicators.