RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT (R&D) GUIDELINES
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) surveys of R&D are conducted in accordance with standard guidelines promulgated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It should be noted that R&D performed overseas by Australian businesses is included in the data in this publication. The extent to which this impacts on international comparisons is being investigated.
The surveys are based on a complete enumeration of businesses identified by the ABS as likely R&D performers. Businesses mainly engaged in Agriculture, forestry and fishing (i.e. industries in Division A of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC)) are excluded partly because of collection difficulties and partly because such businesses are believed to have very low R&D activity (agricultural R&D activity is generally carried out by specialised research institutes not included in Division A).
It should be noted that data presented in this publication may subsequently be revised. Where businesses newly identified as R&D performers indicate that R&D has been undertaken in earlier years, details are collected and used to revise previously released estimates. These revisions are generally small and do not impact significantly on the year to year movements. Where revisions have been applied, the estimate is annotated with an 'r'.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Derek Byars on Canberra (02) 6252 5627.
EXPENDITURE ON R&D
Business expenditure on R&D (BERD) in Australia in 2002-03 was estimated to be $5,979m at current prices, 3.6% higher than that recorded in 2001-02. This is the highest level recorded and is the third successive year of increase following the declines from 1995-96 to 1998-99 and the levelling off between 1998-99 and 1999-2000.
In volume terms, with the effect of changes in prices and wages and salaries removed, R&D expenditure increased by 1.5% compared with 2001-02.
EXPENDITURE ON R&D
The Mining industry recorded a 3.0% decrease in R&D expenditure while expenditure by the Manufacturing industry increased by 11.9%. The Finance and insurance and the Scientific research industries recorded increases of 5.9% and 9.1% respectively while the Wholesale and retail trade and the Property and business services industries recorded decreases of 4.1% and 2.2% respectively.
The change in BERD between 2001-02 and 2002-03 resulted from:
- Approximately 3,050 businesses which undertook expenditure in both years, incurring $5,317m of R&D expenditure in 2001-02 and $5,494m in 2002-03, an increase of 3.3%. Not all businesses increased their expenditure in 2002-03; 41.8% of continuing R&D performers recorded increases in expenditure of 10% or more, while 36.0% recorded decreases of 10% or more.
- Approximately 750 businesses which recorded $452m of R&D expenditure in 2001-02, not reporting any R&D in 2002-03.
- Approximately 1,200 businesses which did not report R&D expenditure in 2001-02, recording $485m in 2002-03.
HUMAN RESOURCES DEVOTED TO R&D
Human resources devoted to R&D in 2002-03 totaled 32,982 person years, 5.9% higher than in 2001-02.
Resources Devoted to R&D
|At current prices ($m)|
|Chain volume measures(a) ($m)|
|Human resources (person years)|
|(a) Reference year for chain volume measures is 2002-03. See paragraph 21 of the Explanatory Notes.|