The Research & Development Survey measures the research and development activities of companies in the past 2 years: spending, personnel, and funding of R&D activities.

The European Lisbon Strategy ambitions and the Europe 2020 targets advocate EU member states to spend 3% of their Gross Domestic Product on R&D by 2020 (for more details see ‘Investigating in European Research. Towards 3% of GDP’). All European Union member states are obliged to provide the European Commission with data concerning the R&D activities of companies within their country (Regulation EC 995/2012). The Research & Development Survey, which complies with international standards such as the guidelines described in the Frascati Manual (OECD, 2015), therefore identifies the R&D efforts of companies.

The Flemish Region mandated ECOOM to administer the Innovation Survey (CIS) biennially. The collected data are displayed in summary statistics, and are used for the compilation of indicators and for ECOOM's research activities. The Flemish Government uses these statistics to better align its economic policy with real developments in the business world.

The main results of the Research & Development Survey are published in the Flemish Indicatorbook (in Dutch): R&D spending and R&D personnel. The data also allows companies to compare their own performance with that of other players of the same size class within their sector. In addition, the results are used to check the progress in reaching the European 3% objective.

The Research & Development Survey 2020 will be launched in April 2020.