Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/01/2005   
   Page tools: Print Print Page RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Science and innovation >> Expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D

The ABS defines research and development (R&D) as 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.

Statistics on the amount of expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D in the business sector are collected annually through a survey of all likely R&D performers. Comparable statistics on the higher education, government (Commonwealth, and state and territories) and private non-profit sectors are collected biennially.

Tables 25.1 and 25.2 summarise the latest statistics available. The data show after increasing by 17% in the period 1998-99 to 2000-01, gross expenditure on R&D increased by 18% from $10.4b in 2000-01 to $12.2b in 2002-03. With the exception of the state and territories government component which remained the same, all sectors showed an increase in R&D expenditure compared with 2000-01.


25.1 EXPENDITURE ON R&D

1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
2001-02
2002-03
Sector
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m

Business
4,221.1
4,094.7
4,136.7
4,982.6
5,769.7
5,978.6
Government
Commonwealth
n.a.
1,179.4
n.a.
1,404.8
n.a.
1,531.3
State/territory
n.a.
863.6
n.a.
951.0
n.a.
950.9
Total
n.a.
2,043.0
n.a.
2,355.8
n.a.
2,482.2
Higher education(a)
n.a.
2,555.1
n.a.
2,789.8
n.a.
3,429.6
Private non-profit
n.a.
225.3
n.a.
289.0
n.a.
359.5
Total
n.a.
8,918.1
n.a.
10,417.1
n.a.
12,249.9

(a) Data for the calendar year ending within the financial year shown.

Source: Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia (8112.0); Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia (8104.0).


25.2 HUMAN RESOURCES DEVOTED TO R&D

1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
2001-02
2002-03
Sector
’000 person years
’000 person years
’000 person years
’000 person years
’000 person years
’000 person years

Business
24.8
25.1
26.5
28.4
31.1
33.0
Government
Commonwealth
n.a.
9.4
n.a.
9.6
n.a.
10.2
State/territory
n.a.
9.1
n.a.
8.6
n.a.
8.4
Total
n.a.
18.4
n.a.
18.2
n.a.
18.5
Higher education(a)
n.a.
45.5
n.a.
46.3
n.a.
49.6
Private non-profit
n.a.
2.6
n.a.
2.8
n.a.
3.1
Total
n.a.
91.6
n.a.
95.6
n.a.
104.3

(a) Data for the calendar year ending within the financial year shown.

Source: Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia (8112.0); Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia (8104.0).


International comparisons

The most commonly used indicator for international comparison purposes is the ratio of expenditure on R&D to gross domestic product (GDP). As table 25.3 shows, in 2002-03 Australia's R&D expenditure was 1.62% of its GDP, ranking it below Sweden (4.27%), Finland (3.46%), Japan (3.12%), Iceland (3.09%), Republic of (South) Korea (2.91%), United States of America (2.67%), Denmark (2.52%), Germany (2.52%), France (2.20%), Belgium (2.17%), Austria (1.93%), Canada (1.91%), the Netherlands (1.89%), the United Kingdom (1.88%), and Norway (1.67%).

In terms of business enterprise R&D, Australia's ratio of R&D expenditure to GDP (0.79%) is again below the ratios for the industrialised countries referred to earlier, and is also below the ratio for Ireland.

For government sector R&D as a percentage of GDP, Australia ranks higher. An R&D to GDP ratio of 0.33% places it eighth in the group of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries, behind Iceland (0.76%), Republic of (South) Korea (0.39%), New Zealand (0.39%), France (0.37%), Finland (0.36%), Germany (0.35%) and Hungary (0.34%). Government sector R&D as a percentage of GDP is much higher for Australia than for the United States of America, Canada or the United Kingdom.

For the higher education sector, Australia ranks seventh. With an R&D to GDP ratio of 0.45%, Australia ranks behind Sweden (0.83%), Finland (0.66%), Canada (0.63%), Denmark (0.58%), the Netherlands (0.51%) and Iceland (0.50%).


25.3 EXPENDITURE ON R&D AS A PERCENTAGE OF GDP, OECD countries - 2002-03

Business
Government
Higher education
All sectors(a)
Country
%
%
%
%

Sweden(b)
3.32
0.12
0.83
4.27
Finland
2.41
0.36
0.66
3.46
Japan
2.32
0.30
0.43
3.12
Iceland
1.77
0.76
0.50
3.09
Korea, Republic of (South)
2.18
0.39
0.30
2.91
United States of America
1.87
0.24
0.42
2.67
Denmark(b)
1.75
0.18
0.58
2.52
Germany
1.75
0.35
0.43
2.52
France
1.37
0.37
0.43
2.20
Belgium(b)
1.60
0.13
0.42
2.17
Austria
n.a.
n.a.
n.a.
1.93
Canada
1.05
0.22
0.63
1.91
Netherlands(b)
1.10
0.27
0.51
1.89
United Kingdom
1.26
0.17
0.42
1.88
Norway
0.96
0.26
0.45
1.67
Australia
0.79
0.33
0.45
1.62
Czech Republic
0.79
0.30
0.20
1.30
New Zealand(b)
0.43
0.39
0.36
1.18
Ireland(b)
0.80
0.09
0.26
1.15
Italy(b)
0.55
0.20
0.36
1.11
Spain
0.56
0.16
0.31
1.03
Hungary
0.36
0.34
0.26
1.02
Portugal
0.32
0.18
0.33
0.93
Greece(b)
0.21
0.14
0.29
0.65
Poland
0.13
0.26
0.20
0.59
Slovak Republic
0.37
0.15
0.05
0.58
Mexico(b)
0.12
0.15
0.12
0.39

(a) Includes private non-profit.
(b) Data for 2001-02.

Source: OECD 2004.


Source of funds for expenditure on R&D

In 2002-03 the business sector funded 46% of all Australian expenditure on R&D. This compares with 44% recorded in 1992-93. The Australian (Commonwealth) Government funded 38% of R&D in 2002-03 (down from 41% in 1992-93) and the state and territory governments funded 7% (down from 9% in 1992-93).

In 2002-03, 90% of funding for R&D carried out by businesses came from the business sector (down from 94% in 1992-93). Commonwealth Government organisations provided 4% of funding for business R&D expenditure in 2002-03.

About 82% of Commonwealth Government sector R&D was funded by Commonwealth Government organisations in 2002-03. The Commonwealth Government proportion of self-funding has fallen from 86% ten years earlier.

About 66% of state government expenditure on R&D was funded by state government organisations in 2002-03. This is significantly lower than a decade earlier, when the proportion was 76%.

About 86% of higher education R&D funding in 2002-03 came from the Commonwealth Government (compared with 91% in 1992-93). Business enterprises provided 5% of the funding in 2002-03, up from 3% a decade earlier.

Commonwealth Government organisations funded 29% of the R&D of the private non-profit sector in 2002-03, while the contribution by state governments was 11%.

Tables 25.4 and 25.5 show the data for 2002-03 and 1992-93 respectively.


25.4 EXPENDITURE ON R&D, Source of funds - 2002-03

Commonwealth Government
State
government
Businesses
Other
Australian(a)
Overseas





Total
Sector
$m
% of
total
$m
% of
total
$m
% of
total
$m
% of
total
$m
% of
total
$m

Business
246.8
4.1
11.5
0.2
5,354.1
89.6
42.8
0.7
323.4
5.4
5,978.6
Government
Commonwealth
1,255.9
82.0
39.6
2.6
78.0
5.1
123.7
8.1
34.0
2.2
1,531.3
State/territory
67.4
7.1
630.3
66.3
50.3
5.3
189.3
19.9
13.7
1.4
950.9
Total
1,323.2
53.3
669.9
27.0
128.3
5.2
313.0
12.6
47.7
1.9
2,482.2
Higher education(b)
(c)2,937.9
85.7
104.5
3.0
174.1
5.1
98.5
2.9
114.6
3.3
3,429.6
Private non-profit
103.9
28.9
39.8
11.1
31.6
8.8
147.3
41.0
36.9
10.3
359.5
Total
4,611.9
37.6
825.7
6.7
5,688.1
46.4
601.6
4.9
522.6
4.3
12,249.9

(a) Includes funds provided via government levies.
(b) Data for year 2002.
(c) Includes $2,033m of General University funds, the majority of which is funding from the Commonwealth Government.

Source: Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia, 2002-03 (8112.0).


25.5 EXPENDITURE ON R&D, Source of funds - 1992-93

Commonwealth Government
State
government
Businesses
Other
Australian(a)
Overseas





Total
Sector
$m
% of
total
$m
% of
total
$m
% of
total
$m
% of
total
$m
% of
total
$m

Business
54.0
1.9
8.5
0.3
2,690.8
94.3
15.3
0.5
85.8
3.0
2,854.5
Government
Commonwealth
988.0
85.8
11.7
1.0
74.7
6.5
62.8
5.5
14.0
1.2
1,151.1
State/territory
56.5
8.5
509.3
76.3
29.0
4.3
69.1
10.4
3.8
0.6
667.6
Total
1,044.5
57.4
521.0
28.6
103.7
5.7
131.0
7.2
17.7
1.0
1,818.8
Higher education(b)
1,544.8
91.1
34.8
2.1
41.7
2.5
63.5
3.7
10.5
0.6
1,695.2
Private non-profit
33.9
33.5
12.8
12.6
6.9
6.8
44.3
43.8
3.3
3.3
101.2
Total
2,677.2
41.4
577.1
8.9
2,843.1
43.9
255.0
3.9
117.4
1.8
6,469.7

(a) Includes funds provided via government levies.
(b) Data for year 1992.

Source: Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia, 1994-95 (8112.0).


Previous PageNext Page


Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.