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Research: EC Action

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what progress has been made in the UK towards meeting the Lisbon agenda target that the EU should invest three per cent. of its gross domestic product in research and development by 2010; and if he will make a statement; (207370)

(2) progress has been made towards the Government's target to invest 2.5 per cent. of the UK's gross domestic product in research and development by 2014; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what assessment he has made of the Lisbon agenda target that the EU as a whole should be investing three per cent. of its gross domestic product in research and development by 2010; for what reasons the Government set a target of 2.5 per cent. by 2014; and if he will make a statement.

The 3 per cent. Lisbon target applies to the EU as a whole, not to individual member states. Individual member states need to set targets in relation to their own circumstances. The Government felt that the UK target, set out in the 10-year Science and Innovation Investment Framework in 2004, was an appropriate and challenging target given the level of UK's research and development and the structure of the UK economy. In 2006 the UK spent 1.75 per cent. of gross domestic product on research and development, up from 1.74 per cent. in 2005. As a whole the EU27 spent 1.84 per cent. of gross domestic product on research and development in 2006, the same as in 2005.