Since 2005, the European Commission has set out plans to double its research budget to 70 billion Euro, in an effort to increase Europe’s growth and competitiveness. This doubling of R&D funds intended to boost an economic growth significantly by 2030, creating nearly 1 million jobs. According to the latest figures from Eurostat, the Baltic states have had the European Union’s fastest growing rates of research spending
, investing around 200 billion Euro in areas such as innovation, RTD and the knowledge economy, for promotion of entrepreneurship, infrastructures of European importance and human resources development. The Eurostat report stresses the following:
the Baltic region is an excellent example of the importance of cooperation for economic growth and success as it has developed into one of the most dynamic regions in Europe;
it is a region where over decades dozens of networking structures have grown and where the accession of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to the EU added new competitive advantages and opportunities for cooperation;
the region is also characterised by a strong cluster base with a rich portfolio of regional contribution of EU regional policy to growth and jobs to strengthen competitiveness and innovation capacity.
Next to the Baltic states, the report presented Ireland as the one that performed the best, with an increase of 8.5 percent to 2 billion Euro over four years (2001-2005), while Spain's research and development spending rose 8.4 percent to 10 billion Euro. Yet, EU research spending is lower than that of its major competitors
2.68 percent of GDP in the US and 3.18 percent in Japan.