8111.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2008 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/05/2010   
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Applied research

Original work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge with a specific application in view. It is undertaken either to determine possible uses for the findings of basic research or to determine new ways of achieving some specific and predetermined objectives.

Capital expenditure

Expenditure on the acquisition of fixed tangible assets such as land, buildings, vehicles, plant, machinery and equipment which is attributable to R&D activity.

Current expenditure

Expenditure on direct labour costs, scholarships, materials, fuels, rent and hiring, repairs and maintenance, data processing, etc. and the proportion of expenditure on general services and overheads which is attributable to R&D activity.

Donations, bequests and foundations

Research specific donations and bequests from non-profit organisations and Australian individuals.

Experimental development

Systematic work, using existing knowledge gained from research or practical experience, which is directed to producing new materials, products, devices, policies, behaviours or outlooks; to installing new processes, systems and services; or to improving substantially those already produced and installed.

Field of research (FOR)

The FOR classification allows R&D activity to be categorised according to the methodology used in the R&D, rather than the activity of the unit performing the R&D or the purpose of the R&D. The FOR reflects the field in which the research was undertaken and is based on the processes and techniques used.

General university funds

Funding from:

  • the Commonwealth government (other than targeted research funding), including ANU Institute of Advanced Studies funds; and the portion of other revenue sourced from the Commonwealth spent on R&D but not identified as 'Competitive Research Grants' or 'Other commonwealth government'; and
  • fees and charges, income relating to HECS liabilities, income from non-research specific donations, bequests and foundations, investment income, reversions from provisions accounts, loans drawn down, income from the institutions commercial operations and from sale of products or assets.

Human resources devoted to R&D

The effort of researchers, technicians and other staff directly involved with R&D activity. Overhead staff (e.g. administrative and general service employees such as personnel officers, janitors, etc.) whose work indirectly supports R&D, are excluded.

Labour costs

Expenditure relating to: wages and salaries; overtime earnings; penalty payments; shift allowances; employer contributions into superannuation; fringe benefits and payroll taxes; severance, termination and redundancy payments; workers' compensation premiums/costs; provisions for employee entitlements; salaries and fees of directors and executives; retainers and commissions of persons who received a retainer; bonuses; annual and other types of paid leave.

Other commonwealth government

All other targeted research funding from commonwealth agencies, including: R&D grants such as CRC and MNRF grants (but excluding Australian Competitive Grants Register schemes); and payments for R&D projects carried out on contract for commonwealth government. Other examples of funding included are:
  • Australian Postgraduate Awards
  • Institutional Grants Scheme
  • International Postgraduate Research Scholarships
  • Research Infrastructure Block Grants
  • Regional Protection Fund
  • Research Training Scheme
  • Special Research Assistance (pre-BAF)
  • Systemic Infrastructure Initiative

Other current expenditure

All other non-staff expenditures including materials, fuels, water, sewerage, rent and hiring expenses, repairs and maintenance, cleaning services, postage, freight, telephone, academic services purchased from outside and any other current expenses which are not captured by labour costs or scholarships. Payments for patent searches and for purchases of technical know-how are excluded.

Other staff

Technicians, skilled and unskilled craftpersons, secretarial and clerical staff directly associated with R&D activity.

Person years of effort

One person year of effort is equal to a full time employee whose time is wholly devoted to R&D for a whole year.

Pure basic research

Experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge without looking for long term benefits other than the advancement of knowledge.

R&D activity

Systematic investigation or experimentation involving innovation or technical risk, the outcome of which is new knowledge, with or without a specific practical application, or new or improved products, processes, materials, devices or services. R&D activity extends to modifications to existing products/processes. R&D activity ceases and pre-production begins when work is no longer experimental.


Comprises expenditure by the university on scholarships for research higher degrees.

Socio-economic objective (SEO)

Reflects the purpose of the R&D as perceived by the data provider. The SEO classification consists of discrete economic, social, technological or scientific domains for identifying the principal purpose of the R&D.

Strategic basic research

Experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge directed into specified broad areas in the expectation of practical discoveries. It provides the broad base of knowledge necessary for the solution of recognised practical problems.

Type of activity

This classification allows R&D activity to be categorised according to the type of research effort, namely, pure basic research, strategic basic research, applied research and experimental development.