BUILDING BLOCK 1: Sufficient resources for science and innovation

Increasing international challenges and pressure on economic competitiveness in the early 2000s created a growing awareness in Europe about the importance of stimulating R&D. The result was the Lisbon Strategy[1] with the objective of making Europe "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion". One of the sub-objectives formulated to achieve this was to invest sufficiently in research and development (R&D).

Achieve the 3%-target for R&D expenditures as soon as possible, with both the public and private sectors contributing

In the context of the Lisbon Strategy mentioned above, the European summit in Barcelona in 2002 formulated the objective that the European Union should spend 3% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on R&D. Successive Flemish Governments have set the achievement of the 3% target as an objective: ‘As a follow-up to the European Lisbon Strategy, Flanders concluded the Innovation Pact in March 2003, which entails a formal commitment by all the actors involved in the Flemish innovation landscape to spend 3% of GDP on R&D by 2010 through joint and complementary efforts. 1/3 of these R&D expenditures is to be born by the government, the other 2/3 by industry. The subsequent Flemish Governments have renewed this commitment each time.[2] In 2009, as part of 'Flanders in Action', the ambition to reach the 3% target by 2020 was included in Pact 2020. This objective was in line with the EU 2020-strategy[3].  In 2019, VIZIER 2030[4] – a 2030 goal framework for Flanders - was drawn up. One of the 48 objectives concerns the achievement of the 3% target.

  • INDICATOR 1: GERD as percentage of GDP

    According to a sub-target, the government must account for 1/3 of the R&D expenditure, the companies the other 2/3. Dividing this R&D intensity by financing sector (public or private) yields the so-called 1% norm and 2% target, respectively.

    • INDICATOR 1a: Share of GERD financed by public sector – 1%-target

    • INDICATOR 1b: Share of GERD financed by private sector – 2%-target