The application of science and innovation to business processes influences the strength and competitiveness of industry by providing a basis for innovative change and encouraging economic growth and development.
Australia has a range of statistics relating to science and innovation, many of which are compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The ABS has released a range of statistics on business innovation in respect of the period January 2001 to December 2003. Statistics on the amount of expenditure and human resources devoted to research and development (R&D) effort in the business sector are collected annually by the ABS, in a survey of all likely R&D performers. Comparable statistics on the higher education, government and private non-profit sectors are collected biennially.
The ABS surveys of R&D effort and innovation are based on standards developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development which enables international comparisons to be made.
A number of additional indicators on science and innovation, not included in this chapter, are compiled by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, and the Department of Education, Science and Training.