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8104.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2002-03  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/09/2004   
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INTRODUCTION

1 This publication presents statistics on expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D carried out in Australia by the Business sector during 2002-03.


2 For details of R&D statistics available for the Government, Private non-profit and Higher education sectors see paragraph 24.



DATA SOURCES

3 The 2002-03 data presented in this publication have been compiled from data collected from businesses in the Survey of Research and Experimental Development in respect of the year ended 30 June 2003. This survey was based on a complete enumeration of businesses identified by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) as likely R&D performers (businesses mainly engaged in Agriculture, forestry and fishing were excluded; see paragraph 14). The survey was conducted by mail questionnaires and an 85% response rate was obtained. For businesses that did not respond to the current survey and had reported R&D activity in the previous survey, data were imputed based on the expected expenditures for 2002-03 reported previously.


4 The GDP figures used to derive BERD/GDP ratios are current at the time of manuscript finalisation - Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, March quarter 2004 (cat. no. 5206.0) - and, at current prices, are as follows: $529,886m (1996-97); $561,229m (1997-98); $591,917m (1998-99); $626,037m (1999-2000); $671,120m (2000-01); $714,370m (2001-02) and $754,120m (2002-03). The available BERD/GDP ratios for other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries are current at the time of manuscript finalisation and are soured from Main Science and Technology Indicators, 2004/1, OECD, Paris, 2004.


5 The GSP figures used to derive R&D expenditure to GSP ratios are current at the time of manuscript finalisation - Australian National Accounts, State Accounts, 2002-03 (cat. no. 5220.0) - and, at current prices, are as follows: New South Wales $265,966m; Victoria $192,407m; Queensland $126,582m; South Australia $48,897m; Western Australia $82,405m and Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory combined $36,995m.



STATISTICAL UNIT

6 The statistical unit used to represent businesses, and for which statistics are reported, is the Australian Business Number (ABN) unit, in most cases. The ABN unit is the business unit which has registered for an ABN, and thus appears on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) administered Australian Business Register. This unit is suitable for ABS statistical needs when the business is simple in structure. For more significant and diverse businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical needs, the statistical unit used is the Type of Activity Unit (TAU). A TAU is comprised of one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an Enterprise Group that can report production and employment data for similar economic activities. Further details about the ABS economic statistical units used in this survey, and in other ABS economic surveys (both sample surveys and censuses), can be found in Chapter 2 of the Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA) 2002 (cat. no. 1218.0).



DEFINITIONS

7 R&D is defined in accordance with the OECD standard as comprising 'creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications'.


8 Type of R&D activity comprises pure basic research, strategic basic research, applied research and experimental development. Data in this classification are subjectively allocated by data providers at the time of reporting, using OECD/ABS definitions. The ABS makes every effort to ensure correct and consistent interpretation and reporting of these data and applies consistent processing methodologies. Analysts using this classification should bear the original subjectivity in mind.


9 For a more comprehensive interpretation of the definition of R&D activity, see the Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC), 1998 (cat. no. 1297.0) or refer to the OECD publication Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development ('Frascati Manual' 2002, OECD, Paris, 2003.



SCOPE

10 The scope of this survey is all businesses within the Business sector of Australia which have undertaken R&D.


11 The Business sector includes all businesses whose primary activity is the production of goods or services for sale to the general public at a price intended to cover at least the costs of production, and the private non-profit institutions mainly serving them.


12 The vast majority of businesses in this sector are private businesses. The remainder are public businesses mainly engaged in trading or financial activities.



COVERAGE

13 The 2002-03 R&D survey comprised a complete enumeration of businesses identified by the ABS as likely to have carried out R&D activity.


14 The Business sector for the R&D survey excludes businesses mainly engaged in Agriculture, forestry and fishing (i.e. industries in Division A of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0), partly because of collection difficulties and partly because such businesses are believed to have very low R&D activity (agricultural R&D activity is generally carried out by specialised research institutes not included in ANZSIC Division A).


15 Within the scope of the survey, businesses were included in the collection if they satisfied any of the following criteria:

  • businesses which, in previous R&D surveys, reported R&D activity
  • businesses applying for the R&D Tax Concession and/or grants for industry R&D
  • businesses identified from reports in newspapers, industrial journals, research compendia etc. as likely to have R&D activity
  • businesses which indicated on an exploratory questionnaire that R&D activity had been undertaken.

16 The ABS continues to investigate enhancement of the above criteria, or the introduction of additional criteria, with the aim of further improving the coverage of the R&D survey.



INDUSTRY CLASSIFICATION

17 The statistics in this publication are classified to industry in accordance with the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0).


18 Each ABN unit/TAU is classified by the ABS to the industry in which it mainly operates. In cases where an enterprise group sets up a dedicated research unit, that unit is classified to the predominant industry of the group rather than to ANZSIC 7810 Scientific research, in accordance with standards laid down in the Frascati Manual.



SOCIOECONOMIC OBJECTIVE AND RESEARCH FIELDS, COURSES AND DISCIPLINES CLASSIFICATIONS

19 Statistics of business R&D classified by Socioeconomic objective (purpose of the research) and Research fields, courses and disciplines (fields in which the research was undertaken) have been collected and presented in this publication. Data were subjectively allocated by data providers at the time of reporting, using OECD/ABS definitions. The ABS makes every effort to ensure correct and consistent interpretation and reporting of these data and applies consistent processing methodologies. Analysts using these data should bear the original subjectivity in mind.


20 For more information on these classifications see the Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC), 1998 (cat. no. 1297.0).



CHAIN VOLUME MEASURES

21 The chain volume measures appearing in this publication are annually reweighted chain Laspeyres indexes referenced to the current price values in a chosen reference year (currently 2002-03). They are formed in a multi-stage process of which the major steps are described in Section 15 of the Information Paper: Introduction of Chain Volume Measures in the Australian National Accounts (cat. no. 5248.0).



RELIABILITY OF STATISTICS

22 The statistics in this publication should be used with caution for the following reasons:

  • Many data providers made estimates because their accounts did not separately record data on R&D activity.
  • The OECD standard definition of R&D used in this survey differs in some respects from what data providers may regard as R&D activity. This is because the definitions used within the grants for industry R&D schemes (for the allocation of grants) and the R&D Tax Concession scheme (for tax deductibility for specific R&D activities) are slightly different from the international standard.
  • Some businesses had difficulties describing their R&D programs in terms of socioeconomic objectives, research fields and types of activity. The data presented under these classifications therefore reflect a degree of subjectivity.


ABS DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

23 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135070.



RELATED PUBLICATIONS

24 Users may also wish to refer to the following publications:

      Australian Bureau of Statistics 1998, Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC), cat. no. 1297.0, ABS, Canberra
      Australian Bureau of Statistics 2002, Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia, 2000-01, cat. no. 8112.0, ABS, Canberra
      Australian Bureau of Statistics 2002, Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia, 2000-01, cat. no. 8109.0, ABS, Canberra
      Australian Bureau of Statistics 2004, Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2002, cat. no. 8111.0, ABS, Canberra
      Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2003, Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development ('Frascati Manual' 2002), OECD, Paris

25 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products cat. no. 1101.0. The catalogue is available from any ABS office or the ABS web site <http://www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.



ROUNDING

26 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.


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