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STATISTICAL UNITS DEFINED ON THE ABS BUSINESS REGISTER
3 Statistical units are those entities from which statistics are collected, or about which statistics are compiled. In ABS economic statistics, the statistical unit is generally the business. The ABS Business Register (ABSBR) is used to record information about statistical units and is used to create the frames for most ABS economic collections.
4 The ABS uses an economic statistics units model on the ABSBR to describe the characteristics of businesses, and the structural relationships between related businesses. Within large, complex and diverse business groups, the units model is also used to define reporting units that can provide data to the ABS at suitable levels of detail.
5 This units model allocates businesses to one of two sub-populations:
6 Together these two sub-populations (of ABN units and TAUs) make up the ABSBR population, from which R&D survey selections are sourced.
7 The current economic statistics units model was introduced into the ABS in mid 2002, to better use the information available as a result of The New Tax System (TNTS). For more information please refer to Information Paper: Improvements in ABS Economic Statistics [Arising from The New Tax System] (cat. no. 1372.0).
8 In cases where a TAU is deemed to have significant activities applying to more than one industry subdivision, the TAU is split for statistical purposes. Where a TAU has been split, the provider is asked to report data for all activities covered by the TAU (i.e. the TAU remains the collection unit). The data is then apportioned across the separate TAU splits (the statistical units) by ABS staff using factors determined during business profiling. TAU splits were implemented in the R&D survey for the first time, in the 2005-06 cycle, and were applied for previous cycles according to revision rules outlined in the Technical Note.
9 R&D as collected by the ABS is defined in accordance with the OECD standard as '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'. Although outside the economic boundary of R&D as defined by the OECD, R&D performed overseas by Australian businesses is included in these data.
10 Expenditures in this release represent R&D performed by the business itself (intramural). R&D funded by a business but performed wholly by another on their behalf (extramural) is out of scope of the survey. However, payments for analytical work, engineering or specialised services which form part of an R&D project performed by the business, are in scope of the survey.
11 For a more comprehensive interpretation of the definition of R&D, see the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008 (cat. no. 1297.0) or refer to the OECD publication Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys of Research and Experimental Development ('Frascati Manual' 2002).
SCOPE AND COVERAGE
12 Due to strong growth in the number of businesses performing R&D, changes were made to the scope of the R&D survey from the 2005-06 cycle to enable continued release of detailed R&D statistics within available resources. Prior to this, the survey scope included all businesses within the Australian business sector (i.e. all businesses and the private non-profit institutions mainly serving them) but excluded businesses mainly engaged in Agriculture, forestry and fishing. From 2005-06, the scope was adjusted to exclude businesses with expenditure on R&D of less than $100,000 in the reference period. Offsetting this change, however, was the inclusion of businesses classified to Division A (Agriculture, forestry and fishing) of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). The scope changes were not backcast for previous reference periods, given their offsetting nature and their relatively minor impact on key survey estimates.
13 It is estimated that the exclusion of businesses with R&D expenditure of less than $100,000 has resulted in total business expenditure on R&D being understated by less than 1%. Users should, however, exercise caution when comparing estimates for businesses with 0-4 employees prior to 2005-06, as the majority of units with expenditure below $100,000 fell into this employment size range. Most affected were estimates of PYE.
14 Businesses were included in the survey if they:
15 The statistics in this release are classified to industry in accordance with the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0).
16 Each ABN unit/TAU is classified by the ABS to the industry in which it mainly operates. In accordance with standards set out in the Frascati Manual, for 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 Scientific research services (ANZSIC 6910).
17 For output purposes, businesses are classified to employment size ranges based on data reported in the survey. Businesses were asked to report the number of persons working for the business during the last pay period ending in June 2008.
LOCATION OF EXPENDITURE
18 Location of expenditure relates to the region(s) in which the business reported having performed R&D during the reference period. This may not be the head office location of the business.
AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND STANDARD RESEARCH CLASSIFICATION
19 Field of research, Socio-economic objective, and Type of activity statistics presented in this release have been collected and compiled based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008 (cat. no. 1297.0). Earlier issues of this release used the Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC).
20 Data providers self-classify R&D expenditure based on their interpretation of OECD/ABS definitions. The ABS makes every effort to ensure correct and consistent interpretation and reporting of these data and applies consistent processing methodologies. See also the Reliability of Statistics and Revisions section of the Technical Note.
21 The ABS has not compiled previous cycle estimates on an ANZSRC basis or 2007-08 estimates on an ASRC basis. Previous cycle data compiled on an ASRC basis (including revised data for 2005-06 and 2006-07) are available in the data cubes accompanying this release.
CHAIN VOLUME MEASURES
22 The chain volume measures appearing in this release are annually reweighted chain Laspeyres indexes referenced to the current price values in a chosen reference year (currently 2007-08). They can be thought of as current price values re-expressed in (i.e. based on) the prices of the previous year and linked together to form continuous time series. They are formed in a multi-stage process of which the major steps are described in Section 15 of the Information Paper: Australian National Accounts, Introduction of Chain Volume Measures and Price Indexes (cat. no. 5248.0).
23 Deflators used to calculate the chain volume measure of expenditure on R&D have been revised to: better capture changes in the unit value of labour used in the production of R&D services; and to increase and refine the number of products included in the deflators. This release presents chain volume estimates calculated using the revised deflators, for the first time.
24 Users may also wish to refer to the following ABS releases:
Innovation in Australian Business, 2006-07 (cat. no. 8158.0)
Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia, 2006-07 (cat. no. 8112.0)
Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia, 2006-07 (cat. no. 8109.0)
Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 8111.0)
Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2007-08 (cat. no. 8167.0)
Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business, 2007-08 (cat. no. 8166.0)
25 Relevant OECD publications include:
Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys of Research and Experimental Development ('Frascati Manual' 2002)
26 Other information, including data cubes in spreadsheet format, relating to R&D and innovation can be found on the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au>. See the Innovation, Science and Technology Home page under Themes/Industry.
ABS DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
27 As well as the statistics included in this and related releases, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
28 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the component items and totals.
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