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8158.0 - Innovation in Australian Business, 2010-11 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/08/2012   
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Contents >> BUSINESS PRACTICES RELATED TO INNOVATION >> Innovation-active Businesses and Collaboration

INNOVATION-ACTIVE BUSINESSES AND COLLABORATION

Measuring collaboration provides insight into the linkages between businesses, particularly innovation-active businesses and other organisations. Linkages are important in understanding the business dynamics of initiating pooled undertakings of innovation. Collaboration is defined as the arrangement where businesses work together for mutual benefit, including some sharing of technical and commercial risk. Each participant in the collaboration did not need to benefit commercially. The Business Characteristics Survey (BCS) collected, from all businesses, the type of collaborative arrangement businesses were involved in; and for innovation-active businesses, whether that collaboration was for innovation purposes, and if so, the type of organisation they had collaborated with and the location of that organisation.

Type of Collaborative Arrangement

All businesses were asked what type of collaborative arrangements they had been involved in during the year ended 30 June 2011. More than one type of collaborative arrangement could be selected, including both other collaborative arrangements and no collaborative arrangements. The focus in this release is on innovation-active businesses and the types of collaborative arrangements they reported; the complete data for all businesses will be released as part of Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2010-11 (cat. no. 8167.0).

INNOVATION-ACTIVE BUSINESSES: Type of collaborative arrangement(a)(b), by employment size, 2010 - 11

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Joint research and development
5.3
6.5
8.2
15.8
6.2
Joint buying
3.6
6.6
11.9
16.4
5.9
Joint production of goods or services
8.8
7.4
11.6
18.8
8.7
Integrated supply chain
2.2
4.8
5.5
14.0
3.7
Joint marketing or distribution
11.5
11.3
14.3
16.6
11.8
Other collaborative arrangements
0.5
0.2
2.0
1.1
0.6
Any collaborative arrangements
21.7
20.7
28.6
43.1
22.4
No collaborative arrangements
78.3
79.3
71.4
56.9
77.6

(a) Proportions are of innovation-active businesses in each output category.
(b) Businesses could identify more than one type of collaboration and they were not required to indicate if the type of collaboration was for innovation or general business purposes.

Overall, 22% of innovation-active businesses reported at least one type of collaborative arrangement. The most frequently reported collaborative arrangement for these businesses was joint marketing or distribution (12%) with innovation-active businesses employing 200 or more persons the most likely to report this type of collaborative arrangement (17%). Businesses in this employment size range were more than six times more likely to report that they were part of an integrated supply chain than those with 0-4 persons employed (14% and 2% respectively). Businesses employing 200 or more persons were also more than twice as likely to report any collaborative arrangements (43%) than businesses with 5-19 persons employed, which were the least likely to report any collaborative arrangements (21%).

The proportion of innovation-active businesses involved in some form of collaborative arrangement ranged from 8% in Construction to 37% in Information media and telecommunications. The most frequently reported arrangement among all businesses, joint marketing or distribution (12%) was most likely to be reported by businesses in Retail trade (20%), Information media and technology (18%) and Rental, hiring and real estate services (16%). Joint production was the most frequently reported by businesses in Information media and telecommunications (21%), Mining (20%) and Professional, scientific and technical services (18%).

Collaboration Partners

Businesses that reported innovative activity were asked to indicate the type and location of the business(es) they collaborated with for the purpose of innovation. Businesses could select more than one type of organisation and were asked to indicate if that organisation was located within Australia or overseas.

INNOVATION-ACTIVE BUSINESSES: Collaboration for innovation(a)(b), by location of organisation, by type of organisation collaborated with, 2010 - 11

Within Australia
Overseas
Any location
%
%
%

Other business(es) related to the business
18.3
2.9
21.0
Clients, customers or buyers
38.6
4.4
39.9
Suppliers of equipment, materials, components or software
39.1
8.8
43.2
Competitors and other businesses from the same industry
25.5
4.6
27.5
Consultants
26.9
2.1
27.4
Universities or other higher education institutions
4.6
1.3
5.4
Other research institutions:
Private non-profit
1.5
0.6
1.8
Government/public
3.0
-
3.0
Commercial
2.6
0.9
2.9
Government agencies (excluding government research institutions)
5.9
0.2
6.1
Other organisations
2.3
np
2.3

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated
(a) Proportions are of innovation-active businesses that reported collaboration for innovative purposes.
(b) Businesses could identify more than one location and/or type of organisation.

Overall, suppliers of equipment, materials, components or software were the most common collaboration partners for innovation-active businesses. Suppliers of equipment, materials, components or software were also the most frequently reported type of collaborative partner for innovation-active businesses with 5-19 persons employed (47%), 20-199 persons employed (42%) and with 200 or more persons employed (44%).

The proportion of innovation-active businesses reporting collaboration with clients, customers or buyers, in any location, decreased with each successive employment size, from 42% for businesses with 0-4 persons employed to 27% for businesses with 200 or more persons employed. Clients, customers and buyers, in any location, was the most likely collaborative partner for innovation-active businesses with 0-4 persons employed.

For the purposes of innovation, businesses were more likely to collaborate with other organisations within Australia, rather than from overseas. Within Australia, the most common collaboration partners were suppliers of equipment, materials, components or software and clients, customers or buyers (both 39%). The most common types of overseas collaborative partners for innovation-active businesses were suppliers of equipment, materials, components or software (9%) and competitors and other businesses from the same industry (5%).

Half of all innovation-active businesses in the Transport, postal and warehousing industry reported collaborating with other businesses related to the business within Australia for innovation. Just over two thirds of innovation-active businesses in Retail trade reported collaborating with suppliers of equipment, materials, components or software within Australia. The proportion of innovation-active businesses that reported collaboration with universities and government agencies within Australia was relatively low across most industries. Some exceptions were; 23% of innovation-active businesses in Agriculture, forestry and fishing collaborated with government agencies and 12% of innovation-active businesses in Arts and recreation services reported collaborating with universities.

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