Many OECD countries have been increasing R&D expenditures over the past few years (see Hungary’s R&D Spending Shows Significant Gains), and Poland is no exception. In 2017, gross domestic expenditures on R&D (GERD) grew 14.7% to PLN 20.6 billion ($5.3 billion). In total, over the last five years, GERD has grown 42.7% in the nation.
R&D intensity, defined as the share of GERD in relation to GDP, reached 1.03%, 1.04 percentage points lower than the total R&D intensity for the entire EU. In the business enterprise sector (BERD) and higher education sector (HERD), R&D intensity amounted to 0.67% and 0.34%, respectively. R&D intensity for the government (GOVERD) and private nonprofit sectors (PNPRD) together totaled 0.03%.
BERD led the pack in regards to R&D expenditures in 2017, representing 65% of total spending at PLN 13.3 billion ($3.5 billion). HERD comprised 33%, while GOVERD and PNPRD jointly accounted for 3% of total GERD at PLN 5.6 billion ($1.5 billion) and PLN 0.5 billion ($0.1 billion), respectively.
Combining data from the seven main macroregions in Poland (the Central Industrial region and Mazovia, as well as the eastern, northwest, southwest, south and northern regions of the country), the largest share of total GERD, or PLN 10.6 billion ($2.7 billion), went towards engineering and technology. Medical and health sciences followed, accounting for PLN 2.4 billion ($0.6 billion) of total GERD, while agricultural and veterinary services made up PLN 952.2 million ($247.0 million). PLN 4.4 billion ($1.1 billion) of total 2017 GERD went towards natural sciences.
Intramural expenditures on R&D for biotechnology reached PLN 911.9 million ($236.5 million) in 2017, while nanotechnology R&D hit PLN 208.7 million ($54.1 million). Data indicate that in 2017, expenditures on innovation activities taking place in industrial enterprises in Poland reached PLN 28.0 billion ($7.3 billion).
The largest share of expenditures, or 71%, went to fixed assets, with PLN 18.7 billion ($4.9 billion) spent on movables and equipment, machinery and technical tools, means of transport, tools and devices. Around 23%, or PLN 6.0 billion ($1.2 billion), was incurred on innovations originating from R&D.