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Research and Development in Sweden 2019

Research and development expenditure increased in 2019

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2020-07-10 9.30

In Sweden, expenditure on and full-time equivalents devoted to intramural research and development (R&D) increased in 2019 compared to 2017, according to preliminary statistics.

Expenditure on intramural R&D reached SEK 171 billion in 2019 in fixed prices, an increase of SEK 7.1 billion from 2017, corresponding to 4.3 percent. Expenditure on R&D in the business enterprise sector, which accounts for the majority of R&D expenditure in Sweden, increased by 5.7 percent. The corresponding figure for the government sector shows a decrease of 2.2 percent. Expenditure on R&D in the higher education sector increased by 1.5 percent, excluding ALF funds. R&D expenditure in the private non-profit sector is estimated to have increased by 2.6 percent.

Intramural R&D expenditure in Sweden, by sector, 2017 and 2019, 2019 prices, SEK millions
Sweden, total 163 860 2 464 170 963 2 471
Business enterprise sector 116 726 2 462 123 413 2 471
Higher education sector 39 097 39 681
Government sector 7 843 7 670
Private, non-profit sector 194 110 199

The total number of FTEs in intramural R&D performed by employees increased by 6 308, which corresponds to 7.2 percent, in 2019 compared to 2017. In the business enterprise sector, FTEs increased by 6.4 percent. The corresponding figure for the government sector shows an increase of 7.4 percent. In the higher education sector, FTEs increased by 9.7 percent, and in the private non-profit sector, FTEs are estimated to have decreased by 0.9 percent.

Full time equivalents in intramural R&D by employees, by sector, 2017 and 2019
  2017 2019
  Value ±CI Value ±CI
Sweden, total 87 829 2 677 94 137 1 770
Business enterprise sector 63 729 2 653 67 824 1 725
Higher education sector 19 096 356 20 948 396
Government sector 4 895 5 257
Private, non-profit sector 109 56 108

These results are based on preliminary figures from Statistics Sweden’s R&D surveys. This means that estimations are uncertain and may be revised. Final figures will be published in October.

Definitions and explanations


Research and experimental development (R&D) comprises creative and systematic work undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge – including knowledge of human kind, culture and society – and to devise new applications of available knowledge. The activity must be novel, creative, uncertain, systematic, and transferable and/or reproducible.

Intramural R&D

Activities carried out in Sweden by the organisation’s own personnel, or by consultants in an R&D project led by the organisation, where the organisation’s personnel have worked together with consultants. Intramural R&D includes R&D assigned by others.

Full-time equivalent – FTE

The full-time equivalent (FTE) of R&D personnel is defined as the ratio of working hours actually spent on R&D during a specific reference period (usually a calendar year) divided by the total number of hours conventionally worked in the same period by an individual or by a group. For example, a full-time worker who spends 50 percent of their working hours on R&D is counted as 0.5 FTE. One person can never perform more than one FTE, even if they work overtime.


For more information on the development of R&D in Sweden, please see the full report Research and development in Sweden in 2019 – preliminary statistics

Statistical Database

More information is available in the Statistical Database

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

Statistical agency and producer

Statistics Sweden, ICT, Business cycle and R&D unit

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171 54 Solna

ICT, Business cycle and R&D unit



Petter Ehn Wingårdh

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