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Research and Experimental Development - Businesses (Survey of)
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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)


    This survey is conducted annually and collects estimates of Research and Experimental Development (R&D) expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D by businesses in Australia. The data are classified by industry, size of business, type of expenditure, source of funds, type of activity, location of expenditure, type of resource, socio-economic objective and field of research.


    ABS R&D statistics enable the nature and distribution of R&D activity in Australia to be monitored and analysed by government, business, academics and international organisations. The data are used for a variety of purposes, including policy formulation, allocation of funds and the determination of priorities for research and development.


    All organisations within the Australian business sector (i.e. all businesses and the private non-profit institutions mainly serving them) performing Research and Experimental Development (R&D) and with expenditure on R&D of $100,000 or more in the reference period.


    Conceptual framework
    R&D as collected by the ABS is defined in accordance with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) standard as detailed in The Measurement of Scientific and Technological Activities: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys of Research and Experimental Development - Frascati Manual 2002. The survey also uses definitions as set out in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008 ( 1297.0).

    Main outputs


    • estimates of R&D expenditure: by industry, size of business, location of expenditure, source of funds, type of activity, field of research and socio-economic objective.
    • estimates of human resources devoted to R&D: by industry, size of business and type of resource.
    • Total R&D expenditure in both current price terms and volume terms.

    • Industry: ANZSIC 06. Data available at 4 digit Class level. Published for selected Subdivisions and Groups.
    • Employment Size: Enterprise employment size: standard groupings
    • Location: States and Territories of Australia plus an 'Overseas' category.
    • Research Classification: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008 (cat. no. 1297.0) comprising

      - Type of activity (TOA): four categories: pure basic research, strategic basic research, applied research and experimental development

      - Field of Research (FOR): hierarchical classification

      - Socio-economic objective (SEO): hierarchical classification

    Other concepts (summary)

    Other (specify below)

    Comments and/or Other Regions

    Location of R&D expenditure (state, territory and overseas) data are also released. This may not be the head office location of the business.

    2 Yearly

    Frequency comments

    Not applicable


    1976/77, 1978/79, 1981/82, 1984/85, 1986/87, 1988/89 Complete enumeration of likely R&D performers

    1983/84, 1985/86, 1987/88, 1989/90 Stratified random sample of likely R&D performers

    1990/91 to 2004/05 Complete enumeration of likely R&D performers

    From 2005/06 to current Complete enumeration of known R&D performers with expenditure on R&D of $100.000 or more


    Data availability comments

    Data published annually approximately 15 months after survey period.

    01/06/2012 01:50 PM

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