8109.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/06/2013   
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1 This release presents statistics compiled from data collected from Australian government and private non-profit (PNP) organisations in the Survey of Research and Experimental Development (R&D), Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations 2011-12. The survey was conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) via mail questionnaire and achieved a response rate of 98.1%.


2 For the Government and PNP sectors, the survey is conducted biennially and based on a single financial year. The 2010-11 survey was deferred for a year. The reference period for statistics presented in this issue is the financial year ended 30 June 2012. The Survey of R&D, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations will be conducted again for 2012-13, before returning to a biennial (two-yearly) collection frequency.


3 R&D, as collected by the ABS, is defined in accordance with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) standard as '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'. Although outside the economic boundary of R&D as defined by the OECD, R&D performed overseas by Australian organisations is included in these data.

4 For a more comprehensive interpretation of the definition of R&D activity, see the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008 (cat. no. 1297.0) or refer to the OECD publication The Measurement of Scientific and Technological Activities: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development - Frascati Manual 2002.

5 Data providers report and self-classify R&D survey information based on their interpretation of OECD and ABS definitions and classifications. The ABS makes every effort to ensure correct and consistent interpretation and reporting of these data by applying consistent processing methodologies. See also the Reliability of Statistics and Revisions sections of the Technical Note.


6 The source of the frame for the Survey of R&D, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations is the ABS Business Register (ABSBR). The ABSBR records information about statistical units and is used to create the frames for most ABS economic collections.

Statistical units defined on the ABSBR

7 Statistical units are those entities from which statistics are collected, or about which statistics are compiled. In ABS economic statistics, the statistical unit is generally the business (or in the case of this survey, the government or PNP organisation).

8 The ABS uses an economic statistics units model on the ABSBR to describe the characteristics of organisations, and the structural relationships between related organisations. Within large, complex and diverse organisations, the units model is also used to define reporting units that can provide data to the ABS at suitable levels of detail.

9 The units model allocates organisations to one of two sub-populations. The vast majority of organisations are in what is called the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Maintained Population (ATOMP), while the remaining organisations are in the ABS Maintained Population (ABSMP). Together these two sub-populations make up the ABSBR population.

10 Most organisations in Australia need to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN) and are then included on the whole-of-government register of businesses, the Australian Business Register (ABR), which is maintained by the ATO. Most of these organisations have simple structures; therefore, the unit registered for an ABN will satisfy ABS statistical requirements. The organisations with simple structures constitute the ATOMP, and the ABN unit is used as the statistical unit for ABS economic collections.

11 For the population of organisations where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical requirements, the ABS maintains its own units structure through direct contact with each organisation. These organisations constitute the ABSMP. This population consists typically of large, complex and diverse organisations. For organisations in the ABSMP, statistical units comprise the Enterprise Group, the Enterprise and the Type of Activity Unit (TAU). The range of activities across the Enterprise Group can be very diverse. The TAU represents a grouping of one or more organisation entities within the Enterprise that cover all of the operations within an industry subdivision and for which a basic set of financial production and employment data can be reported.

12 The current economic statistics units model was introduced into the ABS in mid 2002, to better use the information available as a result of The New Tax System (TNTS). For more information please refer to the
Information Paper: Improvements in ABS Economic Statistics [Arising from the New Tax System], 2002 (cat. no. 1372.0).

13 Statistical units for the Survey of R&D, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations consist of ABN units for the ATOMP and TAUs from the ABSMP.


14 The Survey of R&D, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations aims to be a complete enumeration of Australian government and PNP organisations with intramural expenditure on R&D during the reference period.

15 Intramural expenditure is defined as expenditure for R&D performed by the statistical unit regardless of the source of funds. Expenditure made outside the statistical unit but in support of intramural R&D are included. For further information, refer to the OECD Frascati Manual 2002.

16 The ABS identifies organisations for inclusion in the survey if the organisation:

  • reported expenditure on R&D in the previous survey; or
  • was identified through other sources such as newspapers, journals, research compendia, etc. as likely to have expenditure on R&D.

17 From the 2004-05 cycle of the ABS Survey of R&D, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, the scope for the Government and PNP sectors has been based on the Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA); more specifically, Sector 3 (General Government) and Sector 5 (Not-For-Profit Institutions Serving Households).

18 Some information about SISCA Sector 3 and Sector 5 is provided below. For further details about the ABS sector classifications, refer to Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA) 2008 (cat. no. 1218.0).

General Government sector

19 The General Government sector comprises all government units of the Australian government, each state and territory government, and all local government authorities. It includes courts, the Governor General's office, public universities, government departments, and all resident non-market Not-For-Profit Institutions (NPIs) that are controlled and mainly financed by those government units.

20 Government entities mainly engaged in market production or financial activities are not included in the General Government sector.

NPIs Serving Households sector

21 The NPIs Serving Households sector consists of resident non-market operators providing goods and services to households free or at prices that are not economically significant. It includes NPIs that are mainly financed from household member subscriptions and produce benefits primarily for the household members and NPIs created for philanthropic purposes which are financed mainly from donations or government grants.

22 NPIs engaged in market production are not included in the NPIs Serving Households sector.

Survey exclusions

23 While the Government and PNP sectors for the Survey of R&D, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations are based on SISCA, as per the Frascati Manual 2002 guidelines, the survey excludes:
  • Higher education institutions, e.g. universities (which are included in the ABS Survey of R&D, Higher Education).

24 Local government organisations are also excluded from the survey, as they are considered by the ABS to have low R&D expenditure.


25 Type of activity, Fields of Research and Socio-economic Objective statistics presented in this release have been collected and compiled based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008 (cat. no. 1297.0).

26 Some organisations may have experienced difficulty in classifying their R&D projects to Type of activity, Fields of Research and Socio-economic Objective. See also the Reliability of Statistics and Revisions sections of the Technical Note.


27 Location of expenditure relates to the region(s) in which the organisation reported having performed R&D, during the reference period. This may not be the head office location of the organisation.


28 The most recent GDP and GSP values available were used to calculate the R&D expenditure/GDP and R&D expenditure/GSP ratios presented in this issue. These values are referenced in the tables below and have been revised from those used to calculate ratios in previous issues.



706 895
800 936
920 969
1 083 303
1 254 293
1 474 686

Source: Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, Dec 2012 (cat. no. 5206.0), released 6 March 2013

GROSS STATE PRODUCT, current prices


391 662
282 945
258 746
79 998
176 143
22 095
16 625
26 078
455 275
328 595
283 604
91 928
238 870
24 175
18 583
32 197

Source: Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, 2011-12 (cat. no. 5220.0), released 21 November 2012

29 GDP is estimated by the ABS according to the recently updated international standards System of National Accounts, 2008 (2008 SNA) and is not directly comparable to GDP for countries where these standards have not been applied.


30 The chain volume measures appearing in this release are annually reweighted chain Laspeyres indexes referenced to the current price values in a chosen reference year (currently 2011-12). They can be thought of as current price values re-expressed in (i.e. based on) the prices of the previous year and linked together to form continuous time series. They are formed in a multi-stage process of which the major steps are described in Section 15 of the Information Paper: Australian National Accounts, Introduction of Chain Volume and Price Indexes (cat. no. 5248.0).

R&D deflators

31 With the implementation of 2008 SNA, deflators used to calculate the chain volume measure of expenditure on R&D were revised to better capture changes in the unit value of labour used in the production of R&D services, and to increase and refine the number of products included in the deflators. The revised deflators have been used for the Survey of R&D statistics from the 2008-09 survey cycle.


32 Upcoming ABS releases of R&D statistics include:
      Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2011-12 (cat. no. 8104.0), to be released 6 September 2013


33 Users may also wish to refer to the following ABS releases:
34 Relevant OECD publications include:


35 Other information including data cubes in spreadsheet format, relating to R&D and innovation can be found on the ABS website www.abs.gov.au. See the Innovation, Science and Technology theme page under Topics @ a Glance/Industry.


36 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the component items and totals.