Ljubljana, 01 November (STA) - Last year Slovenia earmarked 1.86% of its GDP or EUR 656.9m for research and development, a rise of 6 percentage points over 2008, according to figures released by the Statistics Office (SURS).
The biggest rises were witnessed in the higher education and business sectors, those of 15 percentage points and 7 percentage points, respectively.
The biggest share of funds for R&D was contributed by companies, which earmarked 58% or EUR 380.9 million of the sum.
Funds from abroad have become an increasingly important part of R&D spending in Slovenia over the past years. Last year they represented 15% of all R&D funds or EUR 39.7m.
Engineering continued to top the list of the areas with the most R&D investments in 2009, where 47% of all the funds or EUR 307.5m was spent. The least funds - only EUR 7.4m - went into agriculture.
The number of researchers increased by 802 physical persons in 2009 over 2008. Women represented 38% of all researchers employed last year.
The majority of researchers (79%) worked for a higher education institution.