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8111.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/06/2008   
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NOTES


CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE

With the release of this issue, time series data have been made available in spreadsheet format.


DATA QUALITY

When interpreting the results in this release it is important to take into account factors that may affect the reliability of estimates. These factors are described in the Non-sampling error section of the Technical note.

This release includes revised data for the 2004 reference period. Refer to the Revisions section of the Technical note for further detail.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The ABS acknowledges the continued effort and contribution of higher education institutions in providing data for the compilation of statistics presented in this and previous issues.


INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Kirsty Rothenbury on Perth (08) 9360 5382.


SUMMARY COMMENTARY

INTRODUCTION

This release presents summary statistics on Research and Experimental Development (R&D) undertaken by Australian higher education institutions. Data used in the compilation of these statistics were provided to the ABS by institutions in respect of the year ended 31 December 2006. The context described in the Explanatory and Technical notes should be taken into consideration when interpreting these results.


EXPENDITURE ON R&D

Higher education expenditure on R&D (HERD) in Australia in 2006 was $5,404.4 million. This represents an increase of 24.9% in current price terms over 2004 and 15.1% in chain volume terms.

Resources devoted to R&D

1996
1998
2000
2002
2004
2006

Expenditure on R&D
Current prices $m
2 308
2 555
2 790
3 430
r4 327
5 404
Chain volume measures(a) $m
3 089
3 248
3 314
3 779
4 492
5 168
Human resources devoted to R&D PYE
42 739
45 502
46 287
49 612
r55 204
58 810

r revised
(a) Reference year for chain volume measures is 2005. See paragraph 15 of the Explanatory notes for details.


Over the ten years to 2006, HERD increased at a two-yearly rate of 26.8% in current price terms and 13.5% in chain volume terms.

Expenditure on R&D
Graph: Expenditure on R&D


Subsequent expenditure figures and supporting commentary relate to current price terms.


Proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

HERD as a proportion of GDP increased from 0.48% in 2004 to 0.52% in 2006.

HERD as a proportion of GDP(a)
Graph: HERD as a proportion of GDP(a)


The following table shows HERD/GDP ratios for selected OECD countries.

HERD/GDP ratios of selected OECD countries(a)

2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
%
%
%
%
%

Sweden
na
0.87
0.85
0.81
0.78
Canada
0.65
0.67
0.70
0.72
0.75
Switzerland
0.64
na
0.66
na
na
Finland
0.64
0.66
0.68
0.66
0.65
Austria
0.57
na
0.59
0.64
0.65
Denmark
0.58
0.60
0.61
0.60
0.63
Iceland
0.48
0.60
na
0.61
na
Australia
0.44
na
0.48
na
0.52
Netherlands
0.50
0.49
na
na
na
Norway
0.44
0.47
0.47
0.47
0.46
Japan
0.44
0.44
0.43
0.45
na
United Kingdom
0.44
0.43
0.43
0.45
na
Turkey
0.43
0.41
0.46
0.43
na
Germany
0.42
0.43
0.41
0.41
0.41
Belgium
0.41
0.42
0.41
0.41
0.41
France
0.42
0.42
0.40
0.40
0.38
New Zealand
na
0.37
na
0.38
na
United States of America
0.36
0.37
0.37
0.37
0.37
Ireland
0.25
0.29
0.33
0.34
0.34
Italy
0.37
0.37
0.36
0.33
na
Spain
0.29
0.32
0.31
0.33
na
Korea
0.26
0.27
0.28
0.30
na
Portugal
0.29
0.28
0.28
0.29
na
Czech Republic
0.19
0.19
0.18
0.23
0.25
Greece
na
0.23
0.23
0.24
0.24
Hungary
0.25
0.25
0.22
0.24
0.24
Poland
0.19
0.17
0.18
0.18
0.17
Mexico
0.17
0.16
0.13
0.14
na
Slovak Republic
0.05
0.08
0.10
0.10
0.12
Total OECD
0.39
0.40
0.39
0.40
na

na not available
(a) Ranked by most recent HERD/GDP ratio.
Source: Main Science and Technology Indicators, 2007/2, OECD, Paris, 2007



Type of expenditure

In 2006, HERD was comprised of $5,045.1 million in Current expenditure and $359.3 million in Capital expenditure. The largest component of HERD in 2006 was Other current expenditure, which totalled $2,533.8 million (46.9% of HERD).


Source of funds

The majority of HERD in 2006 was sourced from General university funds ($3,199.5 million or 59.2% of HERD) and Australian competitive research grants ($979.8 million or 18.1%). These were also the major sources of funds in 2004.


Type of activity

In 2006, 43.3% of HERD ($2,337.6 million) was directed towards Applied research, 27.4% ($1,479.2 million) to Pure basic research and 22.2% ($1,201.5 million) to Strategic basic research. The remaining 7.1% of HERD ($386.1 million) was directed towards Experimental development. The distribution of HERD across type of activity was largely unchanged from 2004. Applied research was the only activity to show an increase in the proportion of HERD from 2004.


Research field

HERD devoted to the research fields of Medical and health sciences ($1,454.7 million), Engineering and technology ($594.3 million) and Biological sciences ($560.9 million) made up almost half (48.3%) of total HERD in 2006.

Medical and health sciences was the only research field with a change in relative share of HERD of more than one percentage point, with an increase of 1.7 percentage points from 2004.


Socio-economic objective (SEO)

Almost a third (30.8% or $1,663.0 million) of HERD in 2006 was directed to Health related SEOs. This included the understanding and treatment of clinical diseases and conditions and the provision of public health services.

The next most prevalent SEO was Non-oriented research, which accounted for 17.5% ($945.8 million) of HERD. This included R&D contributing to the general advancement of knowledge without having a specific application.

The proportion of HERD dedicated to Health increased by 2.9 percentage points from 2004, compared to a decrease of 2.5 percentage points for Non-oriented research.


Location

In 2006, almost three quarters (71.5%) of HERD was located in New South Wales ($1,538.7 million), Victoria ($1,404.6 million) and Queensland ($919.3 million).

Between 2004 and 2006, Victoria recorded the largest growth in HERD in both absolute and percentage terms, rising $342.3 million or 32.2%.

HERD, by location(a)
Graph: HERD, by location(a)


Victoria had the highest increase in HERD as a proportion of gross state product (GSP) from 2004. The Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia experienced decreases in their HERD/GSP ratios, while ratios for Tasmania and the Northern Territory remained the same.

HERD as a proportion of GSP(a), by location

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

2004
0.41
0.47
0.45
0.53
0.43
0.48
0.29
2.34
2006
0.46
0.57
0.47
0.57
0.39
0.48
0.29
2.12

(a) See paragraph 2 of the Explanatory notes for details.



HUMAN RESOURCES DEVOTED TO R&D

Australian higher education institutions devoted a total of 58,810 person years of effort (PYE) to R&D in 2006, up 6.5% from 55,204 PYE in 2004. Most of the human resources devoted to R&D in 2006 were Postgraduate students (57.7%) and Academic staff (28.9%), with the remainder being Other staff directly supporting R&D (13.4%).

As with HERD, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland accounted for almost three quarters (74.0%) of total human resources devoted to R&D in 2006.

Human resources devoted to R&D, by location(a)
Graph: Human resources devoted to R&D, by location(a)



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