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8101.0 - Innovation and Technology Update (Newsletter), Dec 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/01/2003   
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3 RESEARCH & EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT (R&D) STATISTICS

3.1 Business R&D Survey 2000-01
3.2 Government and Private Non-profit R&D Surveys 2000-01
3.3 Release of Summary R&D Data
3.4 Business R&D Survey 2001-02
3.5 International Standards

3.1 Business R&D survey 2000-01

The processing of the Business R&D survey for the year 2000-01 has been completed and results have been released. Available details include: R&D expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D classified by type of expenditure, type of activity, location of expenditure, source of funds, business employment size, type of employee, research fields and socio-economic objective.

Summary statistics for 2000-01 are contained in the publication Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia (Cat. no. 8104.0) which was released on 1 July 2002.

Key findings include:

  • In 2000-01, Business Expenditure on R&D (BERD) was estimated to be $4,825m at current prices, 18% higher than that recorded in 1999-2000. This is the highest level recorded and reverses the declines of the previous four years. In volume terms, BERD was 12% up on 1999-2000 but 5% below the peak level of 1995-96.
  • BERD as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased to 0.72% in 2000-01, following decreases in the previous four years. The percentage remains well below the high of 0.87% in 1995-96. Australia's BERD/GDP ratio remains relatively low when compared with those available for other OECD countries.
  • The Mining industry recorded a 57% increase in R&D expenditure, reversing the falls of the preceding three years. Expenditure by the Manufacturing industry increased by 8%. The Finance and insurance industry recorded an increase in R&D expenditure of 91%, while the Property and business services industry recorded an increase of 12%.
  • Major fields of research in which business R&D expenditure took place were computer software ($729m or 15%), communications technologies ($548m or 11%), manufacturing engineering ($390m or 8%), automotive engineering ($349m or 7%) and medical and health sciences ($299m or 6%).
  • The leading states in terms of business R&D expenditure were New South Wales with $1,699m and Victoria with $1,686m, each accounting for 35% of total R&D expenditure. Queensland accounted for 11% and Western Australia 10%.

Main Features from catalogue 8104.0 can be found on the ABS web site.3.2 Government and Private Non-Profit R&D surveys 2000-01

Processing of the results from the surveys of R&D undertaken by government organisations and private non-profit organisations in 2000-01 has been completed and results released on 12 July 2002 in Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia (Cat. no. 8109.0). Available details include: R&D expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D classified by type of expenditure, location of expenditure, source of funds, type of employee, type of activity, research fields and socio-economic objective.

The 2000-01 surveys were the first surveys of R&D by government and private non-profit organisations to use the classifications contained in the 1998 edition of the Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC).

Key findings include:
  • In 2000-01, Expenditure on R&D carried out by Government organisations (GOVERD) was estimated to be $2,368m at current prices, 14% higher than that recorded in 1998-99. In volume terms, GOVERD was 7% up on 1998-99.
  • Expenditure on R&D carried out by Private non-profit organisations in 2000-01 was estimated to be $283m at current prices, 29% higher than that recorded in 1998-99. In volume terms, R&D expenditure was 20% up on 1998-99.
  • R&D expenditure by Commonwealth government organisations rose by $218m or 18%, while state/territory government organisations increased their R&D expenditure by $81m or 9%.
  • Most expenditure on R&D by Government organisations was directed towards Economic development ($1,375m or 58%). Expenditure directed towards the Environment accounted for a further $431m or 18%.
Main Features from catalogue 8109.0 can be found on the ABS web site.3.3 Release of summary R&D data

Summary statistics of expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D carried out in Australia by organisations within the Business, Government and Private non-profit sectors during 2000-01 and the Higher education sector during the 2000 calendar year were released on 19 July 2002 in the publication Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia (Cat. no. 8112.0).

Key findings include:
  • After levelling off in the period 1996-97 to 1998-99, gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) increased by 15% from $8,936m in 1998-99 to $10,251m in 2000-01. All sectors showed an increase in R&D expenditure compared with 1998-99.
  • In 2000-01, 47% of GERD was expended in the Business sector, 27% in the Higher education sector, 23% in the Government sector and 3% in the Private non-profit sector. By comparison, in 1998-99, 46%, 29%, 23% and 2% of GERD was expended in these sectors respectively.
  • GERD as a percentage of GDP rose from 1.51% in 1998-99 to 1.53% in 2000-01, still well below the high of 1.66% in 1996-97.
Main Features from catalogue 8112.0 can be found on the ABS web site.

3.4 Business R&D survey 2001-02

Dispatch of the survey of R&D undertaken by businesses in 2001-02 took place in August 2002. Details of R&D expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D classified by type of expenditure, location of expenditure, source of funds, type of employee, research fields and socio-economic objectives are being collected. The survey also includes a question on biotechnology R&D.

3.5 International standards

The ABS surveys of R&D are conducted in accordance with standard guidelines promulgated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and contained in the OECD publication, The Measurement of Scientific and Technological Activities ('Frascati Manual' 1993). These guidelines have recently being reviewed and Australia was represented on several of the working groups that undertook the revisions.

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