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8111.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2000  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/04/2002   
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1 This publication presents estimates of expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D carried out by organisations in the Higher education sector during 2000.

2 For details of R&D statistics available for the Business enterprise and General government and Private non-profit sectors see paragraph 18.


3 The 2000 statistics presented in this publication have been compiled from data collected from universities in the ABS Survey of Research and Experimental Development in respect of the year ended 31 December 2000.

4 The GDP figures used to derive higher education expenditure on R&D/GDP ratios are current at the time of manuscript finalisation (National Income, Expenditure and Product, December Quarter 2001 (Cat. no. 5206.0)) and, at current prices, are as follows: $425,707m (1992–93); $471,348m (1994–95); $502,828m (1995–96); $529,886m (1996–97); $591,592m (1998–99); and $672,046m (2000–01). The available higher education expenditure on R&D/GDP ratios for other OECD countries are current at time of manuscript finalisation and are sourced from Main Science and Technology Indicators, 2001-2, OECD, Paris, 2001.


5 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.

6 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 respondents at the time of reporting, using OECD/ABS definitions. The ABS makes every effort to ensure correct and consistent interpretation and reporting of this data and applies consistent processing methodologies. Analysts using this classification should bear the original subjectivity in mind.

7 For a more comprehensive interpretation of the definition of R&D activity, contact the ABS or refer to the OECD publication The Measurement of Scientific and Technological Activities ('Frascati Manual' 1993), OECD, Paris 1994.


8 The Higher education sector is defined by OECD as including all universities and other institutions of post-secondary education whatever their source of finance or legal status.

9 For the ABS R&D surveys of this sector, only universities are surveyed. The universities are asked to include R&D carried out by them as participants in unincorporated Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs), but to exclude any R&D for incorporated CRCs as they are included in the Business enterprise sector. Other institutions (e.g. Technical and Further Education colleges) are excluded because it is considered that their contribution to total R&D activity would be minimal.


10 The statistics in this publication are classified by Socio-economic objective and Research fields, courses and disciplines. For more information on these classifications see the Australian Standard Research Classification, 1998 (


11 The research classifications used in this publication differ from those used in earlier years. The classifications used in this publication were from the 1998 edition of the Australian Standard Research Classification whereas the 1993 edition was used for previous publications.


12 Universities were asked to provide the ABS with the following data:

  • direct staff inputs into R&D (i.e. personnel resources expended in undertaking R&D projects);
  • other staff resources directly supporting R&D by providing direct services to the researchers but not undertaking research in their own right; and
  • direct expenditure on R&D (i.e. the expenses directly attributable to research projects).

13 An estimate for indirect (overhead) expenditure was then added to the direct expenditure on R&D to obtain an estimate of the total cost of the R&D undertaken.

14 The following approach to estimating overhead R&D expenditure was used in the 2000 data collection:
  • in cases where an allowance for overheads had already been included in the data reported by a university, no adjustments were made to the data; and
  • where an allowance had not been included, either:
    • the university identified overhead costs and estimated the R&D part to be apportioned across relevant projects, etc.; or
    • the ABS applied agreed factors to the reported data.


15 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 2000). 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 Introduction of Chain Volume Measures in the Australian National Accounts (Cat. no. 5248.0).


16 The statistics in this publication should be used with caution for the following reasons:
  • Many data providers had to make estimates because their accounts do 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.
  • Some data providers had difficulties describing their R&D programs in terms of Socio-economic ojectives, Research fields, courses and disciplines and Type of R&D activity. The data presented under these classifications therefore reflect a degree of subjectivity.
  • The estimation of overhead R&D expenditure was subjective and varied across universities.


17 Limited additional detailed R&D statistics are available at a charge from the ABS.


18 Users may also wish to refer to the following publications:
Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC), 1998 (Cat. no. 1297.0)
Main Science and Technology Indicators 2001-2, OECD, Paris, 2001
Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia, 1998–99 (Cat. no. 8112.0)
Research and Experimental Development, Business Enterprises, Australia, 1999–2000 (Cat. no. 8104.0)
Research and Experimental Development, General Government and Private Non-profit Organisations, Australia, 1998–99 (Cat. no. 8109.0)
The Measurement of Scientific and Technological Activities ('Frascati Manual' 1993) OECD, Paris, 1994

19 Current publications issued by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (Cat. no. 1101.0). The ABS also issues, on Tuesdays and Fridays, a Release Advice (Cat. no. 1105.0) which lists publications to be released in the next few days. The Catalogue and Release Advice are available from any ABS office.

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

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