In 2014 LERU commissioned an independent consultancy firm to undertake a study to quantify the combined economic value of the LERU members and, by extrapolating its results, to present an estimation of the economic contribution of research universities in Europe.
It resulted in the now publicly available report “The Economic Contribution of LERU Universities”. The report offers telling figures about and an insightful analysis of the economic contribution of LERU universities, and research universities in general, to the European economy. Although it focuses on the economic impact, the report also acknowledges the diverse ways in which universities contribute to society and how their activities bring about wider benefits.
How is the economic contribution measured?
The report focuses on quantifying the economic value generated by LERU universities, which is calculated using two widely accepted measures of economic impact: jobs and gross value added (GVA, a measure of the economic value of goods and services produced in a given area; it is the total value of output less the value of intermediate inputs). The base year for all data is 2014.
What are the main findings?
One of the key findings of this study is that LERU universities contributed a total economic value of €71.2 billion in GVA and 900,065 jobs across Europe in 2014.
Research relevant contributions to this total include:
- knowledge transfer, enterprise and innovation activity: technology licensing, consultancy, contract and collaborative research, spin-outs and start-ups, research and science parks, workforce training and staff volunteering made a combined contribution of €21.9 billion in GVA and 298,489 jobs across Europe;
- economic contribution of the research universities sector: by extrapolating the impact of LERU universities, the research universities sector was estimated to contribute over €300 billion GVA and to support 3.8 million jobs across Europe, representing 2.2% of all GVA and 1.8% of all employment in the EU;
- for each €1 in GVA directly generated by the LERU universities, there was a total contribution of almost €6 to the European economy, and every job directly created by the LERU universities supported almost 6 jobs in the European economy.
Prof. Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General LERU: +32 499 80 89 99 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms Alea López de San Román, Policy Officer LERU: +32 483 59 97 52 / email@example.com