1377.0 - Measures of a knowledge-based economy and society, Australia, 2003  
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Contents >> Human Capital Indicators >> Researchers devoted to research and experimental development (R&D)

CHARACTERISTIC: STOCK OF SKILLED PEOPLE

INDICATOR: Researchers devoted to research and experimental development (R&D)

There has been an increase of 66% in the number of person years of R&D effort by researchers from 1990–91 to 2002–03.

RESEARCHERS DEVOTED TO R&D

1990–91
1992–93
1994–95
1996–97
1998–99
2000–01
2002–03
Sector
Person years
Person years
Person years
Person years
Person years
Person years
Person years

Business
12,604
13,943
14,903
15,259
14,772
16,221
18,891
Commonwealth Government
4,988
5,522
4,431
4,526
3,879
4,418
3,739
State/territory government
4,292
4,091
4,376
4,498
4,640
4,306
4,297
Higher Education
20,666
27,914
32,272
35,472
38,137
39,507
42,780
Private Non-profit
624
687
892
1,286
1,437
1,549
1,906

Total
43,174
52,157
56,873
61,041
62,865
66,002
71,613

Source: ABS Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia (cat. no. 8112.0).


RESEARCHERS DEVOTED TO R&D
Graph: Researchers Devoted to R&D
Source: ABS Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia (cat. no.8112.0).


STATISTICAL NOTES

The Australian Standard Research Classification
The Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC) is the collective name for a set of three related classifications developed for use in the measurement and analysis of research and experimental development (R&D) undertaken in Australia, both in the public and private sectors. It allows the comparison of R&D data between sectors of the Australian economy (e.g. general government, private non-profit organisations, business enterprises and educational institutions).

R&D
R&D is defined in accordance with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) standard as comprising 'creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications'.

R&D Surveys
The R&D Business survey is conducted annually and collects estimates of Research and Experimental Development expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D by businesses in Australia.
The R&D Higher Education survey is conducted biennially and collects estimates of Research and Experimental Development expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D by higher education organisations in Australia.
The R&D General government survey is conducted biennially and collects estimates of Research and Experimental Development expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D by government organisations in Australia.
The R&D Private non-profit sector survey is conducted biennially and collects estimates of Research and Experimental Development expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D by private non-profit organisations in Australia.
Sectors:
The sector classification used in the compilation of R&D statistics is adapted from the guidelines specified by the OECD for use in the conduct of R&D surveys.

Business sector
This sector includes all businesses whose primary activity is the production of goods or services for sale to the general public at a price intended to cover at least the cost of production, and the private non-profit institutions mainly serving them. The Business sector for the R&D survey excludes businesses mainly engaged in Agriculture, forestry, and fishing (i.e. industries in Division A of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0)), 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 ANZSIC Division A).

Government sector
This sector includes all Commonwealth, state and local government departments and authorities. The Government sector for the R&D survey excludes local government organisations because it is considered that their contribution to total R&D activity would be minimal. Public sector organisations mainly engaged in higher education (e.g. universities) are included in the Higher education sector whilst those mainly engaged in trading or financial activities are included in the Business sector.

Higher education sector
This sector includes all universities and other institutions of post-secondary education whatever their source of finance or legal status. The Higher education sector for the R&D survey excludes non-university post-secondary education institutions (e.g. Technical and Further Education colleges) because it is considered that their contribution to total R&D activity would be minimal.

Private non-profit sector
This sector includes private or semi-public incorporated organisations which are established with the intention of not making a profit.

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.

Researchers
Those involved with the conception and/or development of new knowledge, products, processes, methods and systems, and in the management of the projects concerned.

Indicator originally proposed in Framework
The ABS Discussion Paper, Measuring a knowledge-based economy and society, An Australian Framework (cat. no. 1375.0) proposed the indicator 'Researchers as a proportion of the labour force'.


INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS



SELECTED OECD COUNTRIES, RESEARCHERS DEVOTED TO R&D

1998-99
2000-01
2002-03
person years
person years
person years

Australia
62,865
66,002
71,613
Canada
95,390
107,300
na
Czech Republic
12,566
13,852
14,974
Finland
30,431
34,847
38,632
France
155,727
172,070
na
Germany
237,712
257,874
264,685
Hungary
11,731
14,406
14,965
Japan
652,845
647,572
646,547
Korea (a)
92,541
108,370
141,917
Netherlands
39,081
41,896
na
Poland
56,179
55,174
56,725
Slovak Republic
10,145
9,955
9,181
Spain
60,269
76,670
83,318

(a) Excluding R&D in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

Source: OECD Main Science and Technology Indicators, 2004/1 (http://www.oecd.org), ABS Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia (cat. no. 8112.0).

RESEARCHERS(a) PER 10,000 LABOUR FORCE BY SECTOR OF EMPLOYMENT

Business enterprise(k)

Government
Higher education
1981
1991
1999
1981
1991
1999
2001
1981
1991
1999
2001



Australia(b,j)
5.1
14.9
15.1
9.9
11.0
9.5
9.2
19.9
24.4
40.9
40.7

Canada
12.1
20.9
31.4
4.5
5.8
4.7
na
14.8
19.9
21.1
na
Denmark (j)
8.7
17.7
28.1
6.6
8.8
13.7
12.7
9.8
14.2
20.0
20.4
Finland
11.1
20.1
40.9
9.4
12.6
16.0
17.3
na
21.2
40.3
41.9
France(c,j)
14.8
23.8
28.1
6.6
10.4
9.3
9.8
13.8
16.9
21.7
23.2
Germany(d)
27.2
(e)35.6
34.0
6.3
(e)9.4
9.6
9.3
10.1
(e)15.7
16.5
17.0
Ireland (j)
4.7
15.7
(f)33.1
5.0
2.6
1.8
4.2
6.4
18.3
15.0
12.3
Japan(g)
(h)33.8
(h)52.4
64.0
5.1
4.6
4.6
5.0
14.3
16.5
26.3
29.7
Netherlands(c,j)
14.9
na
23.3
8.0
na
10.3
7.4
10.8
17.8
15.9
19.4
New Zealand
na
8.3
(f)9.1
na
9.3
8.6
na
na
11.4
26.5
na
Sweden
22.1
(i)29.4
52.1
3.3
(i)3.8
5.5
5.1
15.7
25.3
33.4
35.5
United Kingdom
28.8
27.8
31.6
7.5
(i) .2
5.1
na
9.3
10.1
17.0
na
United States of America(c)
45.0
60.4
70.0
(i) 5.3
(i) .5
3.4
na
8.9
9.1
13.2
na
European Union(c,j)
16.6
(e)22.2
25.3
5.3
(e)7.1
7.4
7.4
10.6
(e)14.5
(f)18.0
18.3

Total OECD(c)
27.0
(e)35.0
38.7
5.2
(e)5.3
(f)4.7
na
10.7
(e)12.4
(f)15.5
na


(a) Or university graduates.
(b) 1998 instead of 1999, 1990 instead of 1991.
(c) 1998 instead of 1999.
(d) Figures for Germany and zone totals from 1991 onwards refer to unified Germany.
(e) Break in series from previous year for which data available.
(f) 1997 instead of 1999.
(g) Adjusted by OECD up to 1995.
(h) Overestimated.
(i) Underestimated.

(j) 2000 instead of 2001.
(k) 2001 not available.
na not available
Source: OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard, OECD R&D and MSTI database, May 2003 (www.oecd.org).


STATISTICAL NOTES

OECD Standards
Data have been collected and presented in line with the standard OECD methodology of R&D statistics entitled The Measurement of Scientific and Technological Activities: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys of Research and Experimental Development–Frascati Manual 2002 (OECD).

When measuring R&D performance in the higher education sector and its evolution, it should be remembered that many of the figures for this sector are estimates by the national authorities and that evaluation methods are periodically revised. Furthermore, certain national characteristics may strongly influence R&D performance by government and higher education.
Figures for the government and higher education sectors in the United States of America are probably underestimated as public sector R&D only covers federal government activities, not those of individual states and local government, and researchers exclude military personnel in the government sector since 1985. In the higher education sector, R&D in the humanities is not included, and since 1991 capital expenditures have been excluded.
In Sweden, too, the government sector, which includes only the central administrative units, is seriously underestimated; inclusion of county and local units might double the figures.
In Japan figures for R&D personnel in the higher education sector before 1996 are overestimated by international standards, as researchers were counted in terms of the number of people employed in R&D instead of full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff.

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