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Newsletters - Innovation and Technology Update - Bulletin No. 15, December 2006
 
 


1 Introduction

2 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Statistics
2.1 ICT Reference Groups
2.2 Household Use of Information Technology (HUIT)
2.3 Farm use of Information Technology (FUIT)
2.4 Internet activity survey
2.5 ICT Satellite Account
2.6 ICT industry survey (ICTIS)

3 Research & Experimental Development (R&D) Statistics
3.1 Highlights from the Latest R&D Surveys
3.1.1 Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia, 2004-05
3.1.2 Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2004-05
3.1.3 Research and Experimental Development, Government and Non-Profit Organisations, Australia, 2004-05
3.1.4 Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2004
3.2 R&D Statistics User Forum
3.3 Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC) Revision

4 Innovation Statistics
4.1 Recently Released Innovation Statistics
4.2 Forthcoming ABS Publications on Innovation
4.3 Innovation Technical Reference Group (TRG)
4.4 Some useful Non-ABS websites on Innovation Statistics

5 Integrated Business Characteristics Strategy (IBCS)

6 Other
6.1 Subscriber E-Mailing List
6.2 Innovation, Science and Technology Theme Page


1 INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the 15th edition of the ABS Innovation and Technology Statistics Update. The Newsletter provides information on statistical developments and publications in research and experimental development, innovation, and information and communication technology fields. The Newsletter is prepared by the ABS Innovation and Technology National Statistics Centre (NSC) based in Canberra.

We hope you find the Newsletter useful. We welcome your feedback and comments. Please provide your feedback or comments to Glyn Prichard, Innovation and Technology NSC on (02) 6252 6257.
2 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) STATISTICS

2.1 ICT REFERENCE GROUP

The ABS established an ICT reference group in early 2004 involving government, industry, academic and community representatives. The aim of the reference group is to improve the usefulness of ICT statistics collected by the ABS from a variety of sources. The reference group provides a high level forum for understanding, improving and developing ICT statistics, providing members with the opportunity to discuss and consider strategies to address ICT statistical issues.

The most recent meeting of the reference group was held on 5 October 2006. The issues discussed included:
    • Strategic issues in relation to ICT statistics.
    • Recent developments and future directions in ABS ICT and related statistics
    • ABS review of ICT sector scope following the introduction of Australia and New Zealand standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC) 2006

The next meeting of the reference group is expected in April 2007.


2.2 HOUSEHOLD USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (HUIT)

The publication Household Use of Information Technology, Australia 2005-06 (ABS cat. no. 8146.0) was released on 15 December 2006.

The publication presents results compiled from HUIT data collected from two different surveys conducted by the ABS, the Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS) for 2005-06 and the 2006 Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities (CPCLA) Survey. The MPHS covers a proportion of the households in the ABS monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). The MPHS is conducted on an annual basis and will serve as the collection vehicle for the Household use of IT data for 2006-07 and 2007-08 cycles as well. The survey had a sample size of 14,219 households in 2005-06. CPCLA Survey was conducted in April 2006 as part of the ABS Monthly Population Survey, and collected information about the activities of 8,682 children aged 5 to 14 years living in selected households across Australia.

A Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) for HUIT data collected in MPHS 2005-06 is expected to be released on 14 February 2007. The CURF will enable cross classification of HUIT data with relevant data collected in other MPHS 2005-06 modules which included sports attendance, attendance at selected culture and leisure venues and events, participation in sports and physical activity and work related injuries.

The next issue of the publication for the 2006-07 reference period, is expected to be released in December 2007.

For further information about HUIT statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Siddhartha De, Innovation and Technology NSC on 02 6252 6519.


2.3 FARM USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

The ABS publication Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, 2004-05 (ABS cat. no. 8150.0) was released on 28 August 2006. This publication presents statistics on the use of computers and the Internet on farms in Australia. The data were obtained from questions included in the 2004-05 Agricultural Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Information obtained was in respect of the year ended 30 June 2005.

Of the 129,934 farms in Australia in 2004-05, with an estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO) of $5,000 or more:
  • 56% used a computer as part of their business operations, an increase of 1 percentage point since 2003-04; and
  • 53% used the Internet as part of their business operations, an increase of 6 percentage points since 2003-04.

At the regional level (Statistical Division), the proportion of farms using a computer as part of their business operations varied from 77% in the South Eastern region of Western Australia to 39% in the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales. The same areas recorded the highest and lowest proportions of farms using the Internet. The proportions ranged from 79% in the South Eastern region of Western Australia to 38% in the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales.

For the first time in 2004-05 a question on the main type of Internet connection used was asked on the Agricultural Survey. Of those farms using the Internet, the majority of them identified they have a dial-up connection (43,020 farms). 12,287 farms identified they have a broadband connection and 8,565 farms identified they have an ISDN connection to the Internet.

The frequency of this collection is currently under review and may be available on a less frequent basis. For further information about statistics related to farms use of ICT, contact Tim Landrigan, Innovation and Technology Business Statistics Centre, Australian Bureau of Statistics, GPO Box K881, Perth WA 6842, or phone (08) 9360 5104.
2.4 INTERNET ACTIVITY SURVEY

The Internet Activity Survey has undergone a review to address ongoing concerns with the quality and relevance of the data, and the availability of reliable data from alternative sources. The review considered ongoing requirements for the current range of data, new and emerging data needs related to Internet Activity, methodology, scope and data collection mechanisms. It also addressed duplication in reporting requirements of the ACCC, ACMA and the ABS. The outcome of the review is that the Internet Activity Survey recommenced in September 2006; data from this collection will be published on 16 February 2007 on the ABS website.

A small survey of those ISPs with more than 10,000 subscribers was conducted in June 2006. This survey was an interim measure to provide a snapshot of the Internet industry until the full collection recommenced in September. Data from the June survey are available on the ABS website: Internet Activity, Australia, June 2006 (ABS cat. no. 8153.0).

If you wish to know more about the Internet Activity Survey, please contact Tim Landrigan, Innovation and Technology Business Statistics Centre, Australian Bureau of Statistics, GPO Box K881, Perth WA 6842, or phone (08) 9360 5104.


2.5 ICT SATELLITE ACCOUNT

The ABS publication Australian National Accounts: Information and Communication Technology Satellite Account , 2002-03 (ABS cat. no. 5259.0) was released on 7 March 2006.

This publication represents the first official satellite account on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Australia. It measures the direct contribution of ICT to the Australian economy in 2002-03--in particular, the contribution of ICT to key macro-economic variables such as gross domestic product (GDP).

Publication tables also include details of Australian production of various ICT products, as well as related imports, exports, household consumption, business spending and investment expenditure. Together, these data form an integrated set of statistics on ICT products within the internationally recognised international System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA93).

The publication contains a complete description of data sources and concepts used (frameworks, classifications etc.), as well as a discussion of key methodological issues encountered.

For further information about ICT Satellite account statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Peter Comisari on 02 6252 5381.


2.6 ICT INDUSTRY SURVEY (ICTIS)

The ABS publication Information and Communication Technology, Australia, 2004-05 (cat no 8126.0) was released on 25 September 2006. The publication presented data collected in the biennial ABS survey of Information and Communication Technology Industries, in respect of the year ended 30 June 2005.

Key findings from the 2005 publication include:
    • As at 30 June 2005 there were 274,132 persons employed by all businesses within the ICT sector, of which 89.1% (244,238) were employed by ICT specialist businesses.
    • ICT income ($92,119 million) represented 89.1% of the Total income ($103,350 million) reported by all businesses within the ICT sector.
    • Total Operating profit before tax (OPBT) for all businesses within the ICT sector was $9,381 million. ICT specialist businesses accounted for $8,749 million or 93.2% of this total.

If you wish to know more about information relating to the publication, please contact John Jones, Innovation and Technology Business Statistics Centre, Australian Bureau of Statistics, GPO Box K881, Perth WA 6842, or phone (08) 9360 5296.
3 RESEARCH & EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT (R&D) STATISTICS

3.1 HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE LATEST R&D SURVEYS

3.1.1 RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT, ALL SECTOR SUMMARY, AUSTRALIA, 2004-05

The most recent Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia, 2004-05 (cat. no. 8112.0) publication was released on 11 October 2006. This biennial publication summarises R&D sectors output as Gross Expenditure on R&D (GERD). The main findings included;

Business (54%) and higher education (27%) were the biggest contributors to Australia's $15.8 billion outlay on research and experimental development (R&D) in 2004-05, which was an increase of 19% or $2.6 billion since 2002-03.

GERD was highest in New South Wales ($5.0 billion) and Victoria ($4.3 billion), while Western Australia recorded the fastest growth in GERD since 2002-03 (up 57% to $1.7 billion).

The major sources of GERD funding in 2004-05 were business (52% or $8.1 billion) and the Commonwealth government (36% or $5.6 billion). These two sources also recorded the largest increases since 2002-03 (both up by more than 21%).

If you wish to know more about R&D statistics, please call Kirsty Rothenbury on (08) 9360 5382.


3.1.2 RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT, BUSINESSES, AUSTRALIA, 2004-05

The publication Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2004-05 (cat. no. 8104.0) was released on 28 August 2006.

The collection is published annually and the main findings of the 2004-05 survey included;

Business spending on R&D in Australia has increased for the sixth year in a row in 2004-05, to a total of $8.4 billion. This is an increase of 7% in real terms, since 2003-04.

Between 2003-04 and 2004-05, business expenditure on R&D as a proportion of GDP increased from 0.91% to 0.95%. However, Australia remained below the OECD average of 1.53%.

Businesses in the mining industry reported the largest growth in R&D expenditure, increasing by $227 million or 23%. Other major contributors to R&D expenditure were the manufacturing ($3.5 billion or 41%) and property and business services industries ($1.6 billion or 19%).

If you wish to know more about R&D statistics, please call Kirsty Rothenbury on (08) 9360 5382.


3.1.3 RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia, 2004-05

The most recent Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia, 2004-05 (cat. no. 8109.0) publication was released on 6 October 2006. The main findings of this biennial survey included;

Expenditure by Government organisations on R&D (GOVERD) in 2004-05 was $2,550.7 million. This represented an increase of 2.8% in current price terms over 2002-03.

As in previous years, the majority of GOVERD (66.7% or $1,701.0 million) was sourced from Own funds. The next largest source of R&D funds was Other Commonwealth government ($287.2 million or 11.3%).

Private non-profit organisation expenditure on R&D (PNPERD) in Australia in 2004-05 was $493.2 million, representing an increase of 37.2% in current price terms over 2002-03.

If you wish to know more about R&D statistics, please call Kirsty Rothenbury on (08) 9360 5382.


3.1.4 RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2004

The publication Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2004 (cat. no. 8111.0) was released on 27 July 2006. The main findings of this biennial survey included;
  • Higher education expenditure on R&D (HERD) in Australia in 2004 was $4,283 million. This represented an increase of 24.9% in current price terms and 18.0% in real terms over 2002.
  • HERD as a proportion of GDP increased from 0.44% in 2002 to 0.48% in 2004.
  • Between 2002 and 2004, New South Wales recorded the largest growth in HERD in absolute terms (up $200.0 million or 20.3%), while Western Australia recorded the fastest rate of growth (up 49.4% or $146.2 million).

If you wish to know more about R&D statistics, please call Kirsty Rothenbury on (08) 9360 5382.


3.2 R&D STATISTICS USER FORUM

The second meeting of the R&D Statistics Users Forum was held in the ABS on 26 October 2006. The meeting was attended by members from the following external stakeholder organisations:

Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources (DITR), Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), Productivity Commission, CSIRO, Australian Vice Chancellors Committee (AVCC), Australian National University (ANU) and Department of Communication, Information Technology and Arts (DCITA)

Issues discussed in the meeting include:

1. Highlights of the latest R&D surveys (Please see Section 3.1 for details).

2. Proposed changes to the 2005-06 R&D survey: Key changes include the inclusion of Agriculture, forestry and fishery industry within the scope of the R&D survey and exclusion of businesses that spend below $100,000 a year on R&D from the survey scope.

3. Proposed revision of the 1998 Australian Standard Research Classification: The purpose of the revision is to make the classification up-to-date, rationalise classification categories, and to address stakeholder concerns such as provider burden, data quality, international comparability etc.

4. R&D capitalisation in the System of National Accounts: The main issue was the recommendation of the OECD Advisory Expert Group to treat R&D expenditure as Gross Fixed Capital Formation. The ABS is considering OECD’s recommendations in the context of its economic survey programs and the compilation of Australian National Accounts.


3.3 AUSTRALIAN STANDARD RESEARCH CLASSIFICATION (ASRC 1998) REVISION

The Australian Standard Research Classification is used in ABS surveys for collection and publication of statistics on R&D activities undertaken in Australia. The current classification was published in 1998 and is being revised to make it more up-to-date and to address provider concerns and user requirements. The revised classification is expected to be available in early 2008.

As part of the revision, the ABS has set up a reference group comprising members from key R&D stakeholder organisations to advise the ABS project team on strategic and technical issues. The first meeting of the reference group was held on 14 December 2006. Representatives from the reference forum member organisations briefed the group on their use of the current classification and their requirements in the revised classification. Members also discussed guidelines for the classifications revision and the project implementation plan. During the first phase of the project (Jan - March 2007) the project team has planned consultations with the wider R&D stakeholder community.
4 INNOVATION STATISTICS

4.1 RECENTLY RELEASED INNOVATION STATISTICS

First results from the 2005 Innovation survey were released on 7 December 2006 in the ABS publication Innovation in Australian Business, 2005 (cat. no. 8158.0). The first release included a summary publication with basic results for all topics and data cubes for key indicators (state by industry, state by employment size and industry by employment size) and summary financial indicators. Detailed data (including some cross-classified industry, state and employment outputs) for all topics will be released over the next two months. The expected schedule is:

19 January 2007 - Detailed data for Skills and capabilities sought; Collaboration; Source of Funds and Barriers.

16 February 2007 - Detailed data for Drivers; Source of ideas; Methods for acquiring knowledge; and Intellectual property protection. Internationally comparative data for Australia, New Zealand and the European Union.

For further information about the 2005 Innovation survey outputs, contact Peter Hodgson, Innovation and Technology Business Statistics Centre, ABS on (08) 9360 5367.


4.2 FORTHCOMING ABS PUBLICATIONS ON INNOVATION

The Innovation in Australian Business (IABS), 2003, Expanded Confidentialised Unit Record File, 8158.0.55.01 is expected to be released in early 2007.

The Confidentialised Unit Record File from the 2003 Innovation Survey will contain unidentified individual statistical records with information about Australian businesses that innovated during the three years ended December 2003. The 2003 IABS CURF will be available via the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) as an Expanded File ONLY. Detailed information about the contents of the IABS 2003 CURF will be available on the ABS website in the IABS 2003 Technical Paper (cat. no. 8158.0.55.002).


4.3 INNOVATION TECHNICAL REFERENCE GROUP (TRG)

The Innovation Technical Reference Group, set up to provide advice to the ABS on innovation data collection issues, met in the ABS on 17 August 2006. Members from the following key stakeholder organisations participated in the meeting: Department of Communication, Information Technology and Arts, CSIRO, DITR, Productivity Commission, DEST and the Ministry of Treasury.

Key issues discussed in the meeting include:
  • Some new strategies in the publication of the 2005 innovation survey results. (The results from this survey are now available in the ABS publication: Innovation in Australian Business, 2005 (ABS Cat. No. 8158.0)).
  • An update on the progress of collaborations between the ABS and the DITR and University of South Australia on the analysis of 2003 innovation survey microdata.
  • An update on the Integrated Business Characteristics Strategy. The 2005-06 survey had an ICT focus while the 2006-07 will focus on innovation.
  • An analytical model proposed by the Statistical Working group for the Industrial statistics Committee (SWIC) for the international comparison of innovation data.
  • Recent innovation data collection initiatives at state/territory levels, especially in Tasmania.


4.4 SOME USEFUL NON-ABS WEBSITES ON INNOVATION STATISTICS

Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources (DITR)
http://www.industry.gov.au

Department of Education, Science and Technology (DEST)
http://www.dest.gov.au

Productivity Commission (PC)
http://www.pc.gov.au

Backing Australia's ability website
http://backingaus.innovation.gov.au

Biotechnology Australia
http://www.biotechnology.gov.au

5 INTEGRATED BUSINESS CHARACTERISTICS STRATEGY (IBCS)

IBCS is a new approach by the ABS to provide innovation and information and communications technology (ICT) related statistics for businesses. The strategy addresses the increased demand for integrated data on business characteristics to enable analysis of business growth and productivity.

The IBCS aims to integrate the collection and dissemination of information required for:
  • the Business Longitudinal Database (BLD). Data collected for the BLD is obtained from the Business Characteristics Survey (BCS) which will provide the ongoing core for the new integrated strategy;
  • the Business Use of Information Technology Survey (BUIT); and
  • the Innovation Survey.

The benefits of the IBCS are twofold.

Firstly, the overall load on businesses in providing the information will be reduced, as the same sample of businesses will be used to collect all the required information from which both longitudinal and cross-sectional reporting can be provided. Therefore, fewer businesses will be asked to supply information than would be the case with three separate surveys.

Secondly, IBCS output will be of higher value to users as the firm-level data in the BLD will be full integrated with the aggregated data outputs from the two surveys, while the two surveys will be integrated with each other. For the first time, users will be able to understand the complex relationships between the various characteristics and activities that drive productivity growth at both the macro and micro levels.

The BCS has a capacity to provide data for the Business Longitudinal Database (BLD). The ABS is currently developing the BLD to provide longitudinal information about businesses. The long term objective is to produce a reliable longitudinal dataset of both characteristics and financial data. The BLD will use BCS and administrative data held by ABS to produce comprehensive analysis of small and medium size businesses in Australia.

The first step of the IBCS is the integration of two current stand alone surveys; the Business Use of Information Technology Survey and the Innovation Survey into the BCS. The BCS will, therefore, provide core information on innovation and ICT annually plus increased data on one of these topics biennially. Therefore the first BCS, which has an ICT focus, will provide core information on innovation carried out by Australian business as well as core and more detailed information on how Australian business use and access ICT. The 2005-06 BCS to be despatched in February 2007 will replace the 2005-06 BUIT.

The second integrated annual BCS will provide core information on the use of ICT as well as core and more detailed information on innovation carried out by Australian business. The 2006-07 BCS to be despatched late in 2007 will replace the 2007 Innovation survey. The BCS will follow this biennial pattern with a July despatch date and outputs available approximately 12 months later.

The IBCS has the provision to include other topics on the BCS to meet user demand. A small contestable module may be available on the survey for specific statistical demands which relate to business characteristics. Topics will need to fit criteria related to the survey parameters, ABS policy and other determinants.


6 OTHER

6.1 SUBSCRIBER E-MAILING LIST

We are happy to add new subscribers to the Newsletter to our e-mailing list. If you did not receive a link to this edition directly from us and would like to be alerted to future editions, or if you would like to unsubscribe to the update, please contact Glyn Prichard on (02) 6252 6257. Previous editions of this Newsletter can be viewed here, or by visiting the ABS website.


6.2 INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY THEME PAGE

We have a theme page on the ABS website. The theme page provides links to current information on statistical releases and contacts, and now includes a glossary of terms. It will also enable you to link to other sites of interest. The theme page can be accessed by clicking on this link: Innovation, Science and Technology.




Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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