GOVERNMENT R&D FUNDING IN SELECTED COUNTRIES OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE: THE CURRENT PERFORMANCE AND PATTERNS OF DISTRIBUTION
1 Institute for Economics and Forecasting of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Nauka naukozn. 2021, 3(113): 50-75
Section: Foreign science. International science and technology cooperation
Abstract: The paper deals with one of the most relevant issue in science policy that is public funding and its effectiveness. Public R&D funding and government’s involvement in this process characterize the government’s vision of science as a factor of economic development. However, the efficiency of spending these funds varies significantly across countries. The purpose of the paper is to highlight the results of a study of the public R&D funding in countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE countries) and the performance of their R&D sector in view of improving science governance in Ukraine. Unlike other studies, the performance of R&D funding is analysed by indicators of countries’ participation in EU Framework Program on research and innovation “Horizon — 2020”. The following methods were used in the study: system analysis, matching and comparison, correlation analysis. The study is based on wide range of sources, namely statistical databases and official documents of the EU, OECD, World bank, national statistical offices of CEE countries and Ukraine.
It was found that the effectiveness of public spending on R&D depends little on the share of government budget R&D allocations, but there is evidence allowing to assume that the amount of R&D spending and R&D intensity has significant impact on the researchers’ ability to compete for international grants. In addition, a direct correlation was found between the actual budget funding for R&D and the “Horizon — 2020” participation indicators. The next step in the study was to identify the patterns of R&D funding in selected CEE countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Serbia. It was found that (i) the reforms implemented in CEE countries have led to an increase in R&D funding and its efficiency, (ii) the government was a central source of both institutional and project funding for R&D, and (iii) budget funding for R&D tended to be distributed through agencies or research foundations operating autonomously from ministerial offices of the government. The experience of CEE countries in science governance has demonstrated that the R&D performance, including the researchers’ participation in international R&D programs, can only be enhanced through increasing budget funding for R&D and periodical reviews of research evaluation rules, aimed to improve the efficiency of budget spending.
Keywords: research and development, countries of Central and Eastern Europe, public R&D funding, government budget allocations for R&D, R&D intensity, government sector, business enterprise sector, program “Horizon — 2020”, research teams, expert assessment.
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