||This thesis deals with the expenditures on research and development and the influence they have on economic growth of a country. The first part introduces the most important approaches to the growth theory and tries to identify the key determinants of economic growth. The second part focuses directly on the relation between economic growth and R&D expenditures and describes the factors that affect it. The last part provides the reader with the empirical analysis of the current situation in the European Union. The effect of R&D targeting on economic performance of the individual member states is examined and a certain attention is also paid to the differences between the “old” and “new” EU member states. A positive correlation between R&D expenditures and the stage of economic development of a country is confirmed but the impact depends on various socio-economic, institutional, and structural variables.