In 2018, Romania spent 4.769 billion lei on research and development (R&D), the equivalent of 0.51% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to data released on Friday by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).At the end of 2018, 44,733 employees worked in the area of R&D, of which 20,172 were women (45.1%), a level comparable to that recorded in the same period of the previous year.
Of the more than 4.7 billion lei spent on R&D, about 4.3 billion lei were current expenses (90.8%) and 440.6 million lei capital expenditures (9.2%).
In 2018, applied research expenses made up 64.7% of the total R&D expenses, up of 2.7 percentage points from 2017.
Fundamental research had the same weight in the total R&D expenses as in the previous year, 19.3%, while experimental development expenses decreased by 2.7 percentage points, from 18.7% to 16%.
By sources of funds, companies provided the largest funds for R&D in 2018, 55%, followed by public funds, with 33.3%.
Most of the R&D public funds went to the public sector (75.8%), followed by higher education units (71.6%).
Foreign R&D funds were mainly geared to the public sector (41.1%), the business community (39.2%) and the higher education sector (19.5%).
In terms of educational attainment, 85.4% of the R&D staff at the end of 2018 had a higher education background (38,182 employees), and 14.6% had other level of attainment than higher studies (6,551).
During the same period, 18,599 persons with doctoral or postdoctoral studies were involved in R&D, of which 9,122 were women.
Almost three quarters of the R&D employees (71.4%) worked full time.
In 2018, total R&D spending represented 0.51% of GDP, of which 0.30% for the private sector and 0.21% for the public sector, according to the INS.