In a survey of over 329 companies from 9 Central European countries (Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia), data indicated that while companies plan to increase R&D funding in the coming years, overall R&D expenditures across the region are below the EU average. Roughly 52% of survey respondents plan to increase R&D expenditures through funding under the EU 2014­­–2020 budget, with 67% planning to bolster R&D expenditures specifically within the next 3–5 years, a jump of 10 percentage points. Other factors encouraging greater R&D spending include public support and an improved availability of expert researchers, cited by 63% and 62% of respondents, respectively. One of the most serious issues in the current R&D system cited by respondents was a lack of tax clarity in regards to subsidy assessments or which R&D projects meet the requirements for tax deductions. In contrast, the least serious issue cited by respondents is keeping track of R&D tax deductions and subsidies costs separately. Data showed that most companies in Central Europe are more likely to use R&D grants as opposed to tax incentives, with 46% indicating they use them commonly. This may be due to the fact that startup companies can utilize R&D grants even while they are operating at a loss. Collaboration was also a strategy indicated by most companies, with 76% of respondents stating that had partnerships with third parties for their R&D projects. Over 50% of companies that did not collaborate with third parties had their own R&D centers or had access to R&D facilities of another company they were affiliated with. Source: Deloitte

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