The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) has launched its 2023 Survey of Research and Experimental Development (R&D) Statistics for the reference year 2022 to ensure the timely collection of data for monitoring SDG Target 9.5

As part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda 2030, countries have pledged to "build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation".

In particular, SDG Target 9.5 calls upon Member States to encourage innovation and substantially increase the number of researchers in their countries, as well as public and private spending on R&D. The UIS, as the custodian agency, collects data and produces two key indicators to monitor progress towards this SDG target:

To reduce the reporting burden on Member States, only the essential data points needed to produce and validate the above indicators, as well as a set of selected gender-disaggregated R&D indicators, are collected in the survey.

The UIS will release the indicators produced from this survey in 2024 through its Data Browser (UIS.Stat) and the UIS Bulk Data Download Service (BDDS). As the official source for R&D data for the United Nations, UIS data is cited in many global indices, reports and databases.

This year, the UIS is also launching an R&D Statistics Metadata Collection. The metadata collection is structured to gather information on the status and availability of R&D statistics at country level, along with the reasons for non-response or reporting of data on an ad-hoc basis to UIS. The information collected will provide the UIS with a better understanding of the status of R&D data availability at the national level. As such, this will inform future UIS actions to achieve higher response rates while supporting national statistical capacity building activities.

The R&D statistics survey questionnaire, metadata collection form, and related materials are available on the UIS website at:

To see our data on women researchers in action, read our recent blog: Gender imbalances remain in digital skills and STEM careers