The latest figures available show that in the EC we are in eight position ahead of Spain, Portugal, Greece and Luxembourg. Within a broader band of 17 European countries compiled by the OECD, we are in thirteenth position. Research and development expenditure in Ireland as a percentage of GDP was 0.55 per cent in 1991, as compared to 2.02 per cent for Germany, which tops the EC league table. The EC average is 1.3 per cent.
The latest EOLAS survey shows that in 1991, research and development expenditure by Irish business was £176 million. This is 20 per cent up on the 1990 figure. I believe that with the increasing awareness of the vital importance of research and development to the competitiveness of Irish industry and with the introduction of the new Industry Research and Development Initiative, research and development expenditure in Ireland will continue to show positive growth.