1136.0 - A Directory of Education and Training Statistics, 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/03/2009   
   Page tools: Print Print Page



Research and Development and Information, Communication and Technology Surveys
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Perth
Telephone (08) 9360 5382


The ABS Survey of Research and Experimental Development — Higher Education collects details of expenditure on, and human resources devoted to, Research and Development (R&D) by Australian universities. Similar surveys are also conducted in respect of the Business, Government and Private Non-Profit sectors. With the release of the 2006 issue, time series data were made available in spreadsheet format.


R&D as collected by the ABS is defined in accordance with the OECD standard as comprising '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'.

The ABS R&D survey of the higher education sector covers Australian universities. It excludes other tertiary education institutions, such as colleges of Technical and Further Education. All research performed by universities in the reference period, irrespective of the source of funds, is in scope. This includes research performed:

  • as a participant in unincorporated Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs); and
  • on contract for other legal entities (such as private businesses, or incorporated CRCs).

R&D performed on a university campus by other legal entities or their employees is excluded from the survey. Such entities include incorporated CRCs, university controlled entities, and other organisations. The R&D performed by these entities and their employees will be in scope of the relevant R&D sector (Business, Government, or Private non-profit).

Reference Period

Calendar year

Frequency of Collection


Method of collection

Data are collected directly from each Australian university in electronic format, using a methodology agreed to by the individual universities, their peak body (Universities Australia), and the ABS.


Release schedule

The results of the 2006 survey were released on 13th June 2008. Results of the 2008 survey will be released mid 2010.


Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2006 (ABS cat. no. 8111.0)


Data are available for Australia, with a selection of key data items also available at the state and territory level.

Data Service

Customised data is available on request. This is a charged service.

Other information

Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2006-07 (ABS cat. no. 8104.0)
Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia, 2006-07 (ABS cat. no. 8112.0)
Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia, 2006-07 (ABS cat. no. 8109.0)
Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC), 1998 (ABS cat. no. 1297.0)


Estimates of R&D Expenditure
Type of expenditure
Source of funds
Type of activity
Research field
Socio-economic object

Estimates of Human resources devoted to R&D (Person years of effort)
Type of resource

Historical data

Data are available from 1992 onwards.