Studies have found that every dollar invested in R&D generates nearly two dollars in return. While the rate will vary, R&D is an important driver of economic growth. To seize this potential, governments need reliable and precise data. In response, the UIS produces a wide range of indicators on the human and financial resources invested in R&D for countries at all stages of development.

To produce these data, we conduct an annual survey that involves countries and regional partners, such as Eurostat, OECD and RICYT. We also work closely with the African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (ASTII) Initiative of the African Union.

By working closely with these partners and national statistical offices, we can align and harmonise the surveys and methodological frameworks, such as the Frascati Manual, used at the global, regional and national levels to ensure that resulting data can be compared across countries. This is essential to gain a global perspective on science and technology.

We also provide training and methodological resources to help countries develop their own national surveys on R&D and improve the quality and use of their data.

In Focus


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  • Visualisation

    UNESCO eAtlas of Research and Experimental Development

  • Visualisation

    Research and Development Spending