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New study reveals that millions of jobs and billions in GDP are generated by physics in Europe

Posted By Administration, 04 April 2013
Updated: 04 April 2013

The European Physical Society announces the publication of a ground-breaking report "The importance of physics to the economies of Europe" which reveals the large and significantly growing contribution of physics-based industries to the European economy.

Since its establishment in 1968, the European Physical Society (EPS) has had a dual role as a learned society and as a federation of national member societies. The EPS has 41 member societies, and represents a large and varied community of physicists. One of the main objectives of the EPS is to give them a coherent voice in Europe.

Physics is vital to European culture. The new European research program Horizon 2020 is being launched to reinforce the intimate link between basic science and technological applications in order to stimulate Europe's progress in research and innovation, a major challenge for the future.

In this context, many key questions arise. How important is physics to the economies of European countries? How worthwhile is it to maintain and increase investment in physics?

To inform debate on these crucial questions, the EPS commissioned in 2012 an independent economic analysis from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), using public domain Eurostat data. This is the first time that such a study has been performed on this scale and it covers 29 European countries, EU27 countries, plus Norway and Switzerland. Under examination is the 4-year period 2007-2010, 2010 being the most recent year for which official data are simultaneously available for all these countries.

The 4-year snapshot of the European economy shows that the physics-based industrial sector generated around 14% of total European turnover, exceeding the combined contribution of the construction and retail sectors, and over 15 million jobs per year, corresponding to over 13% of overall employment within Europe.

Our hope is that the message conveyed by the EPS through the comprehensive and fact-filled study performed by Cebr will be inspiring for the future, both at the European and national levels. We also hope that the study makes a convincing case for the support for physics in all of its facets, from education to research, to business and industry.

The thorough analysis of European data, contained in the full Cebr report, can provide us with a deeper understanding of the many achievements and drawbacks within the physics-based sector in a recent past.

More information:

The most relevant results, highlighted in an Executive Summary, and the complete Cebr analysis, are available at:

David Lee
EPS Secretary General
Tel: +33 389 329 440

Tags:  economy  report 

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