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TEN YEAR PLAN FOR INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY STATISTICS
The ABS as Australia's independent national statistical agency, an accredited Integrating Authority and leader of the National Statistical Service is well placed to deliver the outcomes sought. The ABS Firm Level Plan (FLP) is a component of the overall plan and will enhance capacity for policy analysis and productivity studies using firm level data. This includes developing infrastructure that will facilitate integration of directly collected and administrative firm level information.
The ABS FLP has four elements – establishing the infrastructure; expanding firm level data holdings through collection and administrative data held by government agencies; enhancing access; and growing analytical capability. To achieve these, the following initiatives are proposed:
Other cross-government initiatives related to the overall plan include developing a set of core data items with standard definitions to be used when collecting information from business for all new business assistance programs. This will require that some of the key performance indicators for all new business assistance programs be based on the core data items and improving the accessibility for evaluation purposes to data collected as part of these programs. Funding is yet to be negotiated.
For more information, please contact the ABS at email@example.com.
CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING UPDATE
In November 2012, the ABS released a consultation paper inviting Australians to comment on the proposals around content and procedures for the 2016 Census. Interested parties were requested to make a submission in accordance with a set of submission guidelines by 31 May 2013. Submissions received by the ABS indicated that the main priority for the internet related topic is a requirement for statistical information on personal use of the internet. As such, the internet topic is currently being reviewed and the case for inclusion of a personal use of the internet question is being developed. The case must demonstrate:
The content of the 2016 Census is expected to be known by the end of 2014, and people who have provided submissions will be advised of the outcome at this time.
Further information is available in the Census of Population and Housing: Consultation on Content and Procedures, 2016 (cat. no. 2007.0).
ESSENTIAL STATISTICAL ASSETS FOR AUSTRALIA – PHASE TWO
The ESA for Australia initiative is led by the ABS and is a key National Statistical Service (NSS) strategy. The aim of the initiative is to allow for effective prioritisation of investment, focus and effort within the NSS, by identifying those essential statistical assets which are critical to decision-making in a complex and sometimes fragmented information environment across Australia. The ESA aims to enhance the quality and value of Australia's statistical system to ensure providers and users of statistics have the confidence to trust the statistics produced within it.
Many innovation and technology statistics such as business demography; information technology use and innovation by business; expenditure on research and development; and personal internet access and usage have been identified as essential, and are listed within the economy and society pillars. These statistics are in outputs from the following I&T surveys:
Phase One of the initiative represented the first holistic assessment of the most essential statistics to meet current user requirements undertaken in Australia. The resulting 2013 list of ESA for Australia was developed through consultation with the community as well as users and producers of official statistics in Australia.
Phase Two of the project involves the undertaking of a quality assessment process. This will provide a more in-depth consideration of Australia’s essential statistical assets in order to understand how well the currently produced information meets the critical needs of users. It will also highlight gaps within the existing statistics. All of the I&T statistics currently produced have been recognised as critical under the ESA for Australia initiative and will undergo the quality assessment process.
In its capacity as the national statistics office, the ABS will lead the quality assessment process. When a statistical asset involves a producer and/or data custodian other than the ABS, the quality assessment will be conducted in collaboration between the data custodian and the ABS to produce an agreed quality assessment.
Further information is available in Essential Statistical Assets for Australia, 2013 (cat. no. 1395.0).
BUSINESS CHARACTERISTICS SURVEY
The Business Characteristics Survey (BCS) is an annual survey and it is the vehicle for the ABS' Integrated Business Characteristics Strategy (IBCS). The strategy integrates the collection and quality assurance of data required for input into both the ABS' Business Longitudinal Database (BLD) and the production of point in time estimates for: use of information technology; innovation; and a broad range of other non-financial characteristics. A key part of the IBCS is the production of annual use of information technology and innovation indicators, with a more detailed set of items for each of these topics collected every second year (i.e. in alternating years). The 2011-12 BCS collected detailed information relating to the use of information technology by Australian businesses see Business Use of Information Technology, 2011-12 (cat. no. 8129.0).
Data for the 2012-13 reference year will be released in the following publications:
INTERNET ACTIVITY SURVEY
The Internet Activity Survey (IAS) is conducted twice a year and covers internet subscribers as at end June and December, and download activity in the three months April to June and October to December. The survey collects subscriber information from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with more than 1,000 subscribers. The most recent edition includes information on: internet subscribers and their type of connection; the type of user (business/household); the volume of data downloaded; the speed of the internet connection; and the location of the subscriber (by state or territory). For example, the three months between April and June 2013, the total volume of data downloaded via mobile handsets was 19,636 terabytes, which is a 43 percent increase from the previous period of October to December 2012. Data from the IAS is used by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in their broadband statistics which can be found in the OECD Broadband Portal (latest release 9 January 2014).
Further information on this survey is available in Internet Activity, Australia (cat. no. 8153.0). The December 2013 edition is due to be released on 8 April 2014.
RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT
The suite of R&D surveys covers four sectors: business, higher education, government and private non-profit organisations.
Data from the latest Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia (cat. no. 8104.0) survey was released on the 6 September 2013. In future, the business collection will be run every two years, with the next reference year being 2013-14.
There are two upcoming releases for R&D:
VENTURE CAPITAL AND LATER STAGE PRIVATE EQUITY
Venture capital and later stage private equity is high risk capital directed towards businesses with prospects of rapid growth and/or high rates of returns. It is an investment in not only money, but also of skills and time.
The ABS first conducted the survey of venture capital for the period 1999-2000 and has since undertaken the survey annually with the financial support of the Department of Industry. These statistics are used by analysts in both the public and private sector to address policy issues and monitor changes in the industry.
The next release of the survey, for the period 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, is due to be released on 13 February 2014. The release presents information on both financial and non-financial contributions to venture capital and later stage private equity investments.
Further information is available in Venture Capital and Later Stage Private Equity, Australia (cat. no. 5678.0).
HOUSEHOLD USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Household Use of Information Technology (HUIT) presents estimates on household and personal use of information technology in Australia and is released every two years.
Access to the internet at home improves the ability of individuals to stay in contact with family and friends, to belong to and communicate with like-minded groups, irrespective of their physical location. It allows access to a variety of up-to-date news, information, education, entertainment and government and business services that might not be available in another format. As such, indicators of internet access are an important measure of societal well-being. These statistics are reported to international bodies including the OECD and the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (UN ITU). Government also use these statistics to measure progress and impacts of the digital economy and its related infrastructure.
The results of the 2012-13 Household Use of Information Technology, Australia (cat. no. 8146.0), are set to be released on 25 February 2014 and will cover topics such as:
THE SURVEY OF DISABILITY, AGEING AND CARERS - COMPUTER AND INTERNET USE
The 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) was conducted throughout Australia during the period August 2012 to March 2013, and was released on 13 November 2013. The 2012 survey collected information to:
More information is available in the Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012 (cat. no. 4430.0).
OECD SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INDUSTRY (STI) SCOREBOARD 2013
The latest issue of the OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard was released in the second half of 2013. The 260 indicators in the STI Scoreboard 2013 show how OECD and partner economies are performing in a wide range of areas to help governments design more effective and efficient policies and monitor progress towards their desired goals. The STI Scoreboard is published every other year, alternately with the OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook.
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