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8101.0 - Innovation and Technology Update (Newsletter), Nov 2001  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/11/2001   
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3 RESEARCH & EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT (R&D) STATISTICS

3.1 Business R&D Survey 1999-2000
3.2 Higher Education R&D Survey 2000
3.3 R&D Surveys 2000-2001
3.4 International Standards

3.1 BUSINESS R&D SURVEY 1999-2000

The processing of the Business R&D survey for the year 1999-2000 has been completed and results have been released. Details of R&D expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D classified by type of expenditure, location of expenditure, source of funds, type of employee, research fields and socioeconomic objectives are available.

Summary statistics are contained in the publication 8104.0 Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia 1999-2000 which was released on 11 July 2001.

Key findings included:

  • In 1999-2000, Business Expenditure on R&D (BERD) was estimated to be $4,045m at current prices, marginally lower than that recorded in 1998-99. In volume terms, BERD continued to fall, with 1999-2000 down 3% on 1998-99.
  • BERD as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell to 0.64% in 1999-2000, following decreases in the previous three years. Australia's BERD/GDP ratio remains relatively low when compared with those available for other OECD countries, being lower than those for Japan, the United States of America, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Canada.
  • The Mining industry recorded a 43% decrease in R&D expenditure, while expenditure by the Manufacturing industry remained about the same. R&D expenditure by Other industries (in total) increased by 12%.
  • The leading States in terms of R&D expenditure were Victoria with $1,474m and New South Wales with $1,414m, accounting for 36% and 35% of total R&D expenditure respectively. Queensland recorded $438m (11%), while Western Australia with $342m (8%) had the next highest R&D expenditure.
  • Computer software ($542m or 13%), Communications technologies ($356m or 9%), Manufacturing engineering ($346m or 9%), Automotive engineering ($324m or 8%), Information systems ($264m or 7%) and Medical and health sciences ($253m or 6%) were the main fields of research.

3.2 HIGHER EDUCATION R&D SURVEY 2000

Documentation for the survey of R&D undertaken by higher education institutions in 2000 has been prepared and distributed to universities. Details of R&D expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D classified by type of expenditure, location of expenditure, source of funds, type of employee, type of activity, research fields and socio-economic objectives will be collected.

The classifications contained in the 1998 edition of the ASRC are being used for the first time; replacing those in the 1993 edition of the ASRC.

The due date for the return of data to the ABS was 31 August 2001 and it is envisaged that results will be released early in 2002.


3.3 R&D SURVEYS 2000-2001

Dispatch of the surveys of R&D undertaken by businesses, government organisations and private non-profit organisations in 2000-2001 took place in August 2001. Details of R&D expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D classified by type of expenditure, location of expenditure, source of funds, type of employee, type of activity, research fields and socio-economic objectives will be collected.

The 2000-2001 surveys will be the first surveys of R&D by government and private non-profit organisations to use the classifications contained in the 1998 edition of the ASRC.


3.4 INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

The ABS surveys of R&D are conducted in accordance with standard guidelines promulgated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and contained in the OECD publication, The Measurement of Scientific and Technological Activities ('Frascati Manual' 1993). These guidelines are currently being reviewed and Australia is represented on several of the working groups undertaking the revisions.

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