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8111.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2010 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/05/2012   
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NOTES


INTRODUCTION

This release presents statistics on Research and Experimental Development (R&D) undertaken by Australian higher education institutions in respect of the calendar year ended 31 December 2010. These statistics, as well as time series data, are also available in spreadsheet format (data cubes); see the Downloads page for this issue (cat. no. 8111.0) on the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au>.

Users should refer to the Explanatory and Technical Notes for further contextual information when interpreting the statistics.


CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE

For the 2010 reference year, statistics for HERD using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classifications (ANZSRC) Fields of Research and Socio-Economic Objective have been collected at the group level (4 digit) only rather than field level (6 digit). Production of outputs at the 6 digit level, previously available upon request, is no longer possible.

For more information on this classification please refer to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008 (cat. no. 1297.0).


DATA QUALITY

When interpreting the results in this release it is important to take into account factors that may affect the reliability of estimates. These factors are described in the Non-Sampling Error section of the Technical Note.

Users are also advised to exercise caution if comparing estimates over time. Factors impacting comparability of estimates include:

  • improved record keeping by higher education institutions in 2010; and
  • revisions to 2008 estimates.

Refer to the Revisions and Comparability of Estimates Over Time sections of the Technical Note for further details.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The ABS acknowledges the continued effort and contribution of higher education institutions in providing data for the compilation of statistics presented in this and previous issues.


INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Amanda Baile on Perth (08) 9360 5357.


SUMMARY COMMENTARY


HIGHER EDUCATION RESOURCES DEVOTED TO RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT (R&D)

During the 2010 calendar year, higher education expenditure on R&D (HERD) was $8,203 million. Over the same period, human resources devoted to R&D by Australian higher education institutions represented 69,199 person years of effort (PYE).

HIGHER EDUCATION RESOURCES DEVOTED TO R&D

2000
2002
2004
2006
2008(a)
2010

Expenditure on R&D
Current prices $m
2 790
3 430
4 327
5 434
6 844
8 203
Chain volume measures(b) $m
4 109
4 734
5 555
6 471
7 478
8 203
Human resources devoted to R&D PYE
46 287
49 612
55 204
58 905
61 773
69 199

(a) Some 2008 data have been revised. See the Revisions section of the Technical Note for details.
(b) The reference year for chain volume measures is 2010. See Explanatory Notes 17 and 18 for details.


In 2010, HERD showed an increase of 20% in current price terms over 2008, and 10% in chain volume terms. This compares to average increases of 24% and 15% respectively, since the 2000 reference period.

HIGHER EDUCATION EXPENDITURE ON R&D

Subsequent expenditure figures and supporting commentary relate to current price terms.


HERD and Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

HERD as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased from 0.55% in 2008 to 0.59% in 2010.

HERD, as a proportion of GDP(a)
Graph: HERD, as a proportion of GDP(a)



TYPE OF EXPENDITURE

In 2010, HERD was comprised of $7,395 million in Current expenditure and $808 million in Capital expenditure. The largest component of HERD in 2010 was Other current expenditure, which totalled $3,543 million (43% of HERD).


SOURCE OF FUNDS

The two main sources of funds for HERD in 2010 were General university funds ($4,637 million or 56% of HERD) and Australian competitive research grants ($1,360 million or 17% of HERD). These were also the major sources of funds in 2008.

General university funds was the only source of funds with a change in its relative share of HERD of more than two percentage points; up from 53% of HERD in 2008.


LOCATION

In 2010, higher education institutions based in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland in combination contributed almost three quarters (74%) of HERD (at $2,389 million, $2,231 million and $1,480 million, respectively). Refer to Explanatory Note 9 for further information regarding the location of R&D.

Compared to 2008, Queensland recorded the largest growth in HERD in absolute terms (up $419 million).

HERD, by location



HERD and Gross State Product (GSP)

The Australian Capital Territory had the largest increase in HERD as a proportion of Gross State Product (GSP) from 2008. South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania experienced decreases in their HERD/GSP ratios.

HERD, by location of expenditure - proportion of GSP(a)

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

2010
0.54
0.70
0.56
0.60
0.31
0.52
0.44
2.22
2008
0.52
0.67
0.41
0.63
0.38
0.58
0.28
1.95

(a) See Explanatory Notes 14 to 16 for details.



TYPE OF ACTIVITY

In the 2010 calendar year, 47% of HERD ($3,836 million) was directed towards Applied research, 25% ($2,052 million) to Pure basic research and 20% ($1,653 million) to Strategic basic research. The remaining 8% ($662 million) was directed towards Experimental development. The distribution of HERD across type of activity was largely unchanged from 2008. Applied research was the only activity to show an increase in the proportion of HERD.


FIELDS OF RESEARCH (FOR)

Expenditure devoted to the Medical and health sciences FOR ($2,351 million) represented 29% of HERD in 2010, and was almost triple the value of the next highest FOR, Engineering ($772 million). In combination, the fields of Medical and health sciences, Engineering, Biological sciences and Studies in human society made up just over half (52%) of total HERD. The top four fields of research, in terms of expenditure, remained the same in 2008 and 2010.


SOCIO-ECONOMIC OBJECTIVE (SEO)

In 2010, nearly a third (32% or $2,658 million) of HERD was directed to the SEO of Health. At $1,308m, the next most prevalent SEO was Expanding knowledge, with approximately half the expenditure of Health. The distribution of HERD across SEOs remained largely unchanged in 2010.


TYPE OF RESOURCE

Australian higher education institutions devoted a total of 69,199 person years of effort (PYE) to R&D in 2010. This was an increase of 7,426 PYE or 12% from 2008. Most of the human resources devoted to R&D in 2010 were Postgraduate students (57%) and Academic staff (31%), with the remainder being Other staff supporting R&D (12%).

As with HERD, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland accounted for three quarters (75%) of total human resources devoted to R&D in 2010.

HIGHER EDUCATION HUMAN RESOURCES DEVOTED TO R&D, by type of resource


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