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8158.0 - Innovation in Australian Business, 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/08/2010   
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Contents >> BUSINESS PRACTICES RELATED TO INNOVATION >> Innovation-active Businesses and Collaboration

INNOVATION-ACTIVE BUSINESSES AND COLLABORATION

Measuring collaboration provides insight into the linkages between businesses, particularly innovation-active businesses and other organisations. Linkages are important to understanding the business dynamic in initiating pooled undertakings of innovation. Collaboration is defined as the arrangement where businesses work together for mutual benefit, including some sharing of technical and commercial risk. Each participant in the collaboration did not need to benefit commercially. The Business Characteristics Survey collected, from all businesses, the type of collaborative arrangement businesses were involved in; and for innovation-active businesses, whether that collaboration was for innovation purposes, and if so, the type of organisation they had collaborated with and the location of that organisation.


Type of Collaborative Arrangement

All businesses were asked what type of collaborative arrangements they had been involved in during the year ended 30 June 2009. More than one type of collaborative arrangement could be selected and businesses were not asked for a specific number of arrangements. The focus in this release is on innovation-active businesses and the types of collaborative arrangements they reported, however, the complete data for all businesses will be released as part of Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2008-09 (cat. no. 8167.0).

INNOVATION-ACTIVE BUSINESSES: Type of collaborative arrangement(a)(b), by employment size, 2008 - 09

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Joint research and development
8.1
5.8
6.6
14.4
7.1
Joint buying
5.8
7.8
5.7
10.8
6.6
Joint production of goods and/or services
6.1
4.6
5.0
8.1
5.4
Integrated supply chain
4.3
4.0
3.4
11.3
4.2
Joint marketing or distribution
11.3
14.0
11.2
18.9
12.4
Other collaborative arrangements
2.1
1.7
0.4
6.8
1.8
Any collaborative arrangements
22.0
23.6
19.9
41.9
22.5
No collaborative arrangements
78.0
76.4
80.1
58.1
77.5

(a) Proportions are of innovation-active businesses in each employment size category.
(b) Businesses could identify more than one type of collaboration and were not required to indicate if the type of collaboration was for innovation or general business purposes.


Overall, 22% of innovation-active businesses reported some type of collaborative arrangement. The most frequently reported collaborative arrangement for innovation-active businesses was joint marketing or distribution (12%), with innovation-active businesses that employed 200 or more persons the most likely to report this type of collaborative arrangement, at 19%. Innovation-active businesses with 200 or more employees were almost twice as likely to report joint buying than those with 0-4 persons employed, at 11% and 6% respectively.

The proportion of innovation-active businesses involved in some form of collaborative arrangement ranged from 14% for the Construction industry to 33% for Information media and telecommunications. Joint marketing or distribution was the most frequently reported type of collaborative arrangement for innovation-active businesses in Rental, hiring and real estates services (23%), Information media and telecommunications, Financial and insurance services and Administrative and support services (all 21%).


Collaboration Partners

Businesses that had reported activity related to innovation were asked to indicate the type and location of the business(es) with which they collaborated for innovation. Businesses could select more than one type of organisation and indicate if that organisation was located within Australia or overseas.

Proportion of innovation-active businesses that collaborated for innovation, by employment size, 2008-09
Graph: Proportion of innovation-active businesses that collaborated for innovation, by employment size, 2008–09


Of businesses that reported any form of innovative activity, 17% had collaborated with at least one type of organisation for the purpose of developing or introducing new or improved goods, services, processes or methods. Innovation-active businesses with 200 or more persons employed were the most likely to have collaborated for innovation (23%), followed by businesses with 0-4 persons employed (18%).

Collaboration for innovation(a)(b), by location of organisation, by type of organisation collaborated with, 2008 - 09

Within Australia
From overseas
Any location
%
%
%

Other business(es) related to the business (i.e. owned by the same company)
29.2
3.1
31.1
Clients, customers or buyers
41.1
2.3
42.3
Suppliers of equipment, materials, components or software
35.7
7.5
41.0
Competitors and other businesses from same industry
31.0
1.7
31.4
Consultants
33.7
0.8
34.2
Universities or other higher education institutions
2.4
1.2
3.6
Other research institutions:
Private non-profit
2.7
-
2.7
Government/public
4.4
0.5
4.4
Commercial
5.2
0.2
5.3
Government agencies (excluding government research institutions)
9.4
-
9.4

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Proportions are of innovation-active businesses that reported collaboration for innovative purposes.
(b) Businesses could identify more than one location or type of organisation.


For the purposes of innovation, businesses were more likely to collaborate with other organisations within Australia, rather than from overseas. Within Australia, clients, customers or buyers was the most common collaboration partner (41%), followed by suppliers of equipment, materials, components or software (36%) and consultants (34%). The most common type of collaboration overseas was with suppliers of equipment, materials, components or software (8%).

Businesses with 0-4 employees were most likely to collaborate with clients, customers or buyers (45%), while for businesses with 200 or more employees the most frequently reported type of collaboration was with other business(es) related to the business, at 48%. While the proportion of businesses collaborating with universities was relatively small overall, 12% of businesses with 200 or more persons employed reported collaboration with this type of organisation.

Of the innovation-active businesses within the Construction industry, 62% reported collaborating with other business(es) related to this business within Australia. Across industries, the proportion of businesses reporting collaboration with universities or other higher education institutions within Australia was relatively small, except for businesses in Arts and recreation services, at 17%.





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