1 This publication presents estimates of expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D carried out by organisations in the Higher education sector during 2002.
2 For details of R&D statistics available for the Business, Government and Private nonprofit sectors see paragraph 18.
3 The 2002 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 2002.
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 2003 (cat. no. 5206.0) - and, at current prices, are as follows: $471,348m (1994-95); $502,828m (1995-96); $529,886m (1996-97); $591,917m (1998-99); $671,120m (2000-01) and $754,291m (2002-03). The available higher education expenditure on R&D/GDP ratios for other OECD countries are current at the time of manuscript finalisation and are sourced from Main Science and Technology Indicators, 2003/2, OECD, Paris, 2003.
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 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.
7 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 AND COVERAGE
8 The Higher education sector is defined by the 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, but to exclude any R&D for incorporated Cooperative Research Centres as they are included in the Business 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.
SOCIOECONOMIC OBJECTIVE AND RESEARCH FIELDS, COURSES AND DISCIPLINES CLASSIFICATIONS
10 R&D statistics 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.
11 For more information on these classifications see the Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC), 1998 (cat. no. 1297.0).
METHODOLOGY FOR DERIVING UNIVERSITY R&D EXPENDITURE ESTIMATES
12 Universities were asked to provide the ABS with the following data:
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.
- 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
- direct expenditure on R&D (i.e. the expenses directly attributable to research projects).
14 The following approach to estimating overhead R&D expenditure was used in the 2002 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.
- 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 estimated the overhead costs using a methodology agreed to by the universities and the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee. For more information on the methodology contact the ABS.
CHAIN VOLUME MEASURES
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 2002). 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 multistage 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
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 socioeconomic objectives, research fields and types of activity. The data presented under these classifications therefore reflect a degree of subjectivity.
- The estimation of overhead R&D expenditure varied across universities (see paragraph 14).
- For the 2002 data collection, some universities improved the methodology used to collect data on their R&D activity.
ABS DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
17 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 135 070.
18 Users may also wish to refer to the following publications:
19 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.
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 2003, Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2001-02, cat. no. 8104.0, 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
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2003, Main Science and Technology Indicators 2003/2, OECD, Paris
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2003, Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development ('Frascati Manual' 2002), OECD, Paris.
20 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
This page last updated 26 July 2006