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Eurostat – Statistics in Focus: Senior human resources in science and technology

The recently published Eurostat statistics show that European science and technology workforce is getting older. In national terms, Bulgaria comes top, with the largest share of senior Human Resources in Science and Technology, 46%. Finland, Germany and Sweden followed closely, their amount of scientists and technically qualified workers in the older age group also being around 46%. In the EU in total, the share of European HRST aged 45-64 fluctuated between 30% and 50% in 2006.The report also concludes that older staff tends to be less mobile, the exceptions being the UK and Denmark, who have relatively flexible labour policies.

The survey suggests that the ageing populations are putting the EU's innovation potential at risk. This supports the EU member states’ view that special attention should be given to recruiting new scientists if  Europe wishes to stay on top of the global innovation game. The EU has estimated that an extra half million researchers (or 1.2 million research-based staff) are needed to meet the Lisbon goals of innovation and competitiveness.