Global economy

R&D investment continued to grow in 2020, despite the economic impacts of COVID-19

30/03/2021 PNG

A preliminary indication of how business R&D fared during the COVID crisis shows that investment continued to grow in 2020, although at a significantly lower rate than in 2019 and with big differences across industries. Both the information and communications technology (ICT) and the life sciences industries fared well in 2020, less so in other industries such as transport equipment.

If confirmed by official data, this would be the first global economic crisis in the OECD’s 60-year history during which business R&D expenditures did not decline in aggregate terms.

  • Main Science and Technology Indicators webpage with detailed interactive charts: