8158.0 - Innovation in Australian Business, 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/12/2006   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product



1 As a result of the review of the 2003 Innovation Survey, changes were made to survey scope, content and procedures to improve quality and coherence of survey outputs. The main changes were:

  • a change to a two year reference period for all innovative activity and characteristics data;
  • the extension of the status of innovation to include innovative activity commenced but not yet complete or abandoned during the reference period;
  • the specification of reference period for items where reference period was omitted in the 2003 Innovation Survey;
  • a change to how innovation-related financial indicators were collected in order to alleviate reporting and quality problems identified in the 2003 Innovation Survey;
  • the overall change in structure of the survey questionnaire to facilitate easier reporting and assist in improving response rates and data quality;
  • more effective procedures to improve the response rate overall; and
  • the implementation of more comprehensive quality assurance processes including historical comparison to 2003 key indicators at both micro and macro level.


2 The 2003 Innovation Survey had a three calendar year reference period for innovation activity and characteristics topics. This was changed to a two calendar year reference period for the 2005 survey. The change in reference period is part of the staged implementation of the Business Characteristics Survey (BCS), see Explanatory Notes paragraphs 28-30.

3 To enable comparisons between both cycles of Innovation Survey outputs, data for key indicators from the 2003 survey have been modelled to reflect a two year reference period. These key indicators are the total proportion of innovating businesses, and the component proportions of businesses with goods and service, operational process and organisational/managerial process innovation.

4 Modelling rather than revising 2003 survey data was undertaken because year of innovative activity was not collected separately for the 2001 and 2002 calendar years in the 2003 survey. More information about the methodology used to model 2003 data is available from the contact shown on the front of this publication.

5 In the 2003 survey questionnaire, there were inconsistencies with reference period specification in a majority of characteristics questions and these were not able to be rectified. As a result the ability to measure any movement in results for characteristics data between the two surveys is restricted.

6 Financial data are not affected as the reference period for these data in both surveys is a single financial year (i.e. nominally 2002-03 and 2004-05).


7 For the 2005 Innovation Survey, the scope of innovative activity was extended to include work that started but was not yet complete or was abandoned during the reference period. This is consistent with the 'Oslo Manual, Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data' (Third Edition, 2005) and what is being done internationally. Innovation related to marketing methods was not included at this stage; this was predominantly due to the lack of time to adequately test this more significant change. Some element of marketing is already considered to be included in the estimates. Many of the changes identified in the 'Oslo Manual, Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data' (Third Edition, 2005) will be introduced for the 2005-06 BCS where the core innovation questions will cover all types and states of innovative activity.

8 The impact on the overall rate of innovation of this change in scope can be seen in the difference between the proportion of innovating businesses and innovation-active businesses. While 12.2% of businesses reported starting but not yet completing or abandoning innovative activity during the reference period, they only contribute 1.4 percentage points to the estimate of innovation-active businesses.

9 There was no attempt to ask businesses to exclude this type of innovative activity in the innovation characteristics questions.

10 The extension of scope had a minor impact on the estimate of innovation expenditure. Businesses that only reported starting but not yet completing or abandoning innovative activity during the reference period accounted for $103 million of the total innovation expenditure of $30,582.9 million (or approximately 0.3%). For businesses that reported implementing or introducing new goods, services or process as well as innovative activity started but not yet complete or abandoned, It is not possible to quantify the amount of innovation expenditure that was solely for the latter two activities.