- Overall the European pattern of employment in science and technology is rather similar to the picture on Ramp;D expenditure as share of GDP
- Capital cities and large metropolitan regions stand out as centres of human resources in science and technology
- High shares of employment in science and technology can be observed, for instance, in North West Europe
- Large areas of Europe, especially in Eastern and South-East Europe have simultaneously regional economies with low levels of human resources and expenditures on Ramp;D
Observations for policy
The share of human resources in science and technology, as part of the active economic population, is above 25 per cent in most European regions. In general, capital cities and large metropolitan regions stand out as centres of human resources in science and technology. For some regions, such as North West Europe or Baltic Sea the expenditure is remarkably high when compared with other parts of Europe.
Europe 2020 is the growth strategy of the European Union (EU). The focus is on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. These three mutually reinforcing priorities shall help to deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. At EU level, and within each Member State, concrete objectives, targets, and flagship initiatives have been defined to boost growth and jobs.
The Innovation Union flagship initiative stresses the fact that human ‘brain power’ is fundamental for Ramp;D and innovation development. There are concerns whether Europe truly acts as a magnet for talented researchers when many of other competitive countries seem to be more attractive.
Human capital is fundamental for Ramp;D and Innovation. The map shows the concentration of researchers, scholars and academics in North West Europe and Scandinavia. This picture is rather similar to the one on Ramp;D expenditure as share of GDP.
At the very top of Europe there are large metropolitan regions. Some of these excel in advanced services, with computer scientists, network engineers, consultants in financial economy, and market data analysts. Other regions are more specialised in manufacturing, for instance biotechnology or electronics. Particular regions have been identified as hotspots of science and technology development, such as those located in Scandinavia, Switzerland or the UK.
Some regions show rather high percentages of human resources working in science and technology, but their proportion of GDP invested in Ramp;D is particularly low. This is an important socio-economic imbalance that somehow might reveal an over-qualification of human resources, or a high level of applying Ramp;D results. These regions can be observed in many Baltic Sea states, but also in Northern Spain and Eastern France.
In contrast, large areas of Europe, especially in Eastern and South-East Europe, but also in the Mediterranean Basin have regional economies with low levels of human resources in Ramp;D which in turn demonstrates low levels of expenditures on Ramp;D. These regions are heavily dominated by agricultural production and tourism. Indeed, in countries such as Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal or Romania only the capital regions demonstrate high rates of human resources in science and technology.
Concepts and methods
This indicator gives the percentage of the total labour force in the age group 25-64 that is assigned as human resource in science and technology, i.e. having either successfully completed education at the third level in a specific field of study or, alternatively, is employed in an occupation where such education constitutes a requirement.