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8112.0 - Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia, 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/10/2010   
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1 This release presents summary statistics on Research and Experimental Development (R&D) undertaken by Australian organisations within the Business, Government, Higher education and Private non-profit sectors for the 2008-09 reference period.

2 The data have been released previously on an individual sector basis and at more detailed levels; see Explanatory Note 17.


3 Data for each sector were collected separately in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) surveys of R&D:

  • Business - compiled from data collected from businesses in the Survey of R&D, Businesses in respect of the year ended 30 June 2009.
  • Government and Private non-profit - compiled from data collected from organisations in the Survey of R&D, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations in respect of the year ended 30 June 2009.
  • Higher education - compiled from data collected from institutions in the Survey of R&D, Higher Education in respect of the year ended 31 December 2008.


4 R&D as collected by the ABS is defined in accordance with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (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 organisations is included in the data presented.

5 For a more comprehensive interpretation of the definition of R&D, see the OECD publication The Measurement of Scientific and Technological Activities: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development - Frascati Manual 2002.

6 Data providers report and self-classify R&D survey information 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 sections of the Technical Note.


7 The sector classification used in the compilation of these statistics is adapted from the guidelines specified by the OECD for use in the conduct of R&D surveys. There are four distinct sectors:
  • Business - 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 cost of production, and the private non-profit institutions mainly serving them.
  • Government - includes all Commonwealth, state and local government departments and authorities.
      • The ABS Government R&D survey excludes: local government; universities (which are included in the Higher education sector); and public sector organisations mainly engaged in trading or financial activities (which are included in the Business sector).
  • Higher education - includes all universities and other institutions of post-secondary education, whatever their source of finance or legal status.
      • The ABS Higher education R&D survey excludes other higher education institutions, such as colleges of Technical and Further Education.
  • Private non-profit - includes private or semi-public incorporated organisations which are established with the intention of not making a profit.


8 Refer to the Explanatory Notes of the individual sector releases for scope and coverage details.


9 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).


10 With the exception of the Higher education sector, estimates for location relate to the region(s) in which the R&D was performed. For the Higher education sector, the estimates represent the main campus or head office location of the reporting institution, with the exception of the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) which is shown against the Australian Capital Territory.


11 TOA, FOR and SEO 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).

12 Due to differences between the two classifications, implementation of the ANZSRC represents a break in series. Users should familiarise themselves with the differences if attempting to compare data across reference periods, particularly for FOR and SEO estimates.

13 The ABS has not compiled previous cycle estimates on an ANZSRC basis or 2008-09 estimates on an ASRC basis. Previous cycle data compiled on an ASRC basis (including revised data for 2006-07) are available in the data cubes accompanying this release.

14 Some organisations may have experienced difficulty in classifying their R&D projects to TOA, FOR and SEO. See also the Reliability of statistics and Revisions sections of the Technical Note.


15 The most recent GDP and GSP values available were used to calculate the R&D expenditure/GDP and R&D expenditure/GSP ratios presented in this issue. These values are referenced in the tables below.

Gross Domestic Product, current prices


622 695
708 889
804 361
925 864
1 091 327
1 254 651

Source: Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, June 2010 (cat. no. 5206.0), released 1 September 2010.

Gross state product, current prices


352 162
261 200
209 173
71 725
138 688
21 249
14 339
22 791
402 334
291 637
243 901
78 986
169 950
23 176
17 168
25 969

Source: Australian National Accounts, State Accounts, 2008-09 (cat. no. 5220.0), reissue released December 2009.

16 GDP is estimated by the ABS according to the recently updated international standards System of National Accounts, 2008 (2008 SNA) and is not directly comparable to GDP for countries where these standards have not been applied.


17 ABS releases of R&D statistics for individual sectors:


18 Users may also wish to refer to the following ABS releases:
19 Relevant OECD publications include:


20 Other information relating to R&D and Innovation (including data cubes in spreadsheet format) can be found on the ABS website <>. See the Innovation, Science and Technology Theme page under Topics @ a Glance/Industry.


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

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