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8101.0 - Innovation and Technology Update, Jun 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/06/2011   
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INNOVATION AND ICT REFERENCE GROUPS - RECENT MEETINGS
Innovation Reference Group
Information and Communication Technology Reference Group
BUSINESS LONGITUDINAL DATABASE (BLD) AND ASSOCIATED CONFIDENTIALISED UNIT RECORD FILE (CURF)
RESEARCH PAPER: BUSINESS INNOVATION AND THE USE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY
HOUSEHOLD USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (HUIT) UPDATE
CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING 2011






INNOVATION AND ICT REFERENCE GROUPS - RECENT MEETINGS

Innovation Reference Group

The Innovation Reference Group (IRG), which provides advice to the ABS on innovation issues, including research and experimental development, was established in 2005. In particular, the IRG advises on policy priorities and requirements for monitoring policy impacts at the Commonwealth and State level.

The latest IRG meeting was convened at the ABS on 12 April 2011. The following key stakeholder organisations participated in the meeting: Dept of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR); Dept of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR); Dept of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (DAFF); Productivity Commission; Australian Innovation Research Centre (AIRC); Australian Research Council, Group of 8; and Universities Australia.

Discussion at the meeting covered:

  • Updates to the Business Characteristics Survey (BCS) innovation module;
  • The ABS project on the relationship between collaboration and innovation;
  • The Tasmanian Innovation Census;
  • The Australian Public Sector Innovation Indicators (APSII) project;
  • Report back on the November meeting of the OECD Working Party of National Experts on Science and Technology Indicators (NESTI); and
  • Potential changes to the R&D surveys.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Reference Group

The ABS established an ICT reference group in early 2004 involving government, industry, academic and community representatives. The aim of the reference group is to improve the usefulness of the ICT statistics published by the ABS. The reference group provides a high level forum for understanding, improving and developing ICT statistics, by providing members with the opportunity to discuss and consider strategies to address ICT statistical issues.

The following key stakeholder organisations participated in the latest meeting held on 14 April 2011 at the ABS: Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA); Australian Computer Society (ACS); Dept of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE); Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC); Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA); National ICT Australia (NICTA); Dept of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR); Australian Mobile Telecommunications Authority (AMTA); IDC Australia; and Dept of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI).

The agenda included presentations on:
  • Selected IT findings from the BCS 2008-09, broadband vs non-broadband;
  • Understanding the ICT Labour Market, and Skills Strategies;
  • The Social Impact of ICTs for Less Advantaged Groups;
  • ACMA's reporting program;
  • Plans for the Australian Computer Society (ACS) 2011 ICT Statistical Compendium; and
  • Developing a Cybercrime Conceptual Framework.

BUSINESS LONGITUDINAL DATABASE (BLD), AND ASSOCIATED CONFIDENTIALISED UNIT RECORD FILE (CURF)

The Business Longitudinal Database (BLD) is a valuable resource that allows analysts to monitor and evaluate the impacts of policies and industry trends at the individual business level. The BLD contains a range of data (both financial and characteristic) for small and medium businesses in Australia over a five year period.

The BLD complements the large range of ABS macro-economic outputs and meets very strong demand from government, academics and private users for micro-economic data. It will increase understanding of:
  • The activities or factors that are relevant to business performance; and
  • The business characteristics that are associated with these activities or factors.

The primary outputs from the BLD will be a suite of Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs). The BLD design is comprised of panels (or waves) with each panel representing the entire population of in-scope small and medium businesses at the time of initialisation. Each panel is surveyed for five years. The first CURF was released in October 2009 and contains confidential unit record information for Panels One and Two (with 3 and 2 years of characteristics and financial data, respectively). The CURF is available via the Remote Access Data Laboratory which can be accessed via the ABS website

The next BLD CURF release will be 21 December 2011; this CURF will include the full five years of data for Panels One and Two. For further information, please contact Helen Reich, Assistant Director, Innovation and Technology Statistics Branch on (08) 9360 5148.
RESEARCH PAPER: BUSINESS INNOVATION AND THE USE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY

The ABS released a research paper on 'Business Innovation and the Use of Information and Communications Technology' in March 2011. The study used data from the ABS Business Longitudinal Database (BLD) to examine the association between the intensity of use of information and communication technology (ICT) by businesses, and innovation. Firm level data for 6,442 businesses from the 2005-06 and 2006-07 waves of the BLD were used. An 'ICT intensity index' was constructed to represent the levels of sophistication in the business' ICT usage. The association of this indicator with different types of innovation was modelled using multivariate regression. The types of innovation considered include goods and service, process, organisational and marketing innovations.

The analysis found a strong relationship between ICT intensity and innovative activity at the firm level. Businesses which used sophisticated types of ICT were significantly more likely to undertake innovation of any type. The more intense ICT users were likely to undertake more types of innovation, more novel innovations and were more likely to develop the innovations internally. The relationship between ICT and innovative activity held when controlling for a range of other business characteristics, such as employment size and industry division.

HOUSEHOLD USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (HUIT) UPDATE

The 2010-11 Household Use of Information Technology (HUIT) module for the Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS) has been expanded to collect more content. The 2010-11 HUIT focuses on the nature of IT, the activities undertaken and reasons for using the Internet. The 2010-11 HUIT is expected to be released on the 15 December 2011.


CENSUS OF HOUSING AND POPULATION 2011

The Census of Population and Housing aims to accurately count the number of people in Australia, their key characteristics, and the dwellings in which they live. It is conducted by the ABS once every five years. During the Census every household and person in the country are required to answer specific questions on the paper form or through the eCensus online.

The 16th Census of Population and Housing will take place on the night of Tuesday 9 August 2011. The 2011 Census also marks a significant milestone - 100 years of national Census taking in Australia. The Census underpins Australia's democracy and is crucial to communities, private institutions and all levels of government when planning infrastructure, community services and facilities.

As per 2001 and 2006, the 2011 Census asks whether the Internet can be accessed from the dwelling. Results from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing will be progressively released from June 2012. Plans for a release using 2011 Census of Population and Housing related to internet use will be notified to users via this Newsletter and more broadly, via the ABS website.

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