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R3: AI R&D collaborating countries


With the R3 – AI R&D collaborating countries indicator we investigate the EU 27 Member States’ propensity to structure collaborations with many different countries. More specifically, the R3 indicator reflects the number of countries with which the Member States have at least one AI-related collaboration, by type of AI R&D activity.

In order to have had an active collaboration, players must have filed a patent together or be co-authors in a publication or be part of a same partnership for an EC-funded project.

The European Union

As expected, the densest network of collaboration is related to EC-funded projects. Therefore it is in this context that Member States structure most of their contacts with other countries. Interestingly, the effects of EC-funded projects in terms of collaborations with different areas go much further than the borders of the EU. Indeed, all Member States (except Malta) have at least one collaboration with more than 40 different countries. By means of EC-funded projects, Germany, France, Italy and Spain reach almost 80 different countries.

The two networks developed in the context of frontier research activities (the black bars) and in patents (the blue bars) show a series of countries that barely structure any collaboration with other countries. These are the countries in the right tail graph. For most of them the only connections they have with other countries come through EC-funded projects. Among the EU Member States that are more able to connect with other countries, both in patenting and in frontier research, are Germany, France and Belgium. Italy, Spain and Sweden also deserve consideration, but mainly for what shown in their networks of scientific publications. For every EU Member State except Cyprus the network of frontier research collaboration is always more extended than that for patents.

Member States can reach a large number of collaborating countries by means of EC-funded projects. However, the gap that is observed with respect to the other two R&D networks is considerable. On the one hand, the connectivity promoted by EC-funded projects is significant and appears to be fundamental. On the other hand, in a R&D context interactions and knowledge exchange are crucial and therefore international collaborations are important. However, the number of collaborating countries is larger than 10 in only one case for patents (Germany) and for just 11 Member States in scientific publications.


Factsheet1 February 2022
R3: AI R&D collaborating countries