8104.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2003-04  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/09/2005   
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1 The statistics presented in this publication have been compiled from data collected from businesses in the Survey of Research and Experimental Development in respect of the year ended 30 June 2004. The survey was conducted by mail questionnaire and an 86% response rate was obtained.

2 The GDP figures used to derive BERD/GDP ratios are current at the time of manuscript finalisation - Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, March quarter 2005 (cat no. 5206.0) - and, at current prices, are as follows: $527,994m (1996-97); $559,139m (1997-98); $589,597m (1998-99); $623,461m (1999-2000); $668,426m (2000-01); $713,229m (2001-02); $758,147m (2002-03); and $813,225m (2003-04). The BERD/GDP ratios for other OECD countries are current at the time of manuscript finalisation and are sourced from Main Science and Technology Indicators, 2005/1, OECD, Paris, 2005.

3 The GSP figures used to derive R&D expenditure to GSP ratios are current at the time of manuscript finalisation - Australian National Accounts, State Accounts, 2003-04 (cat no. 5220.0) - and, at current prices, are as follows: New South Wales $283,067m; Victoria $206,733m; Queensland $140,574m; South Australia $53,897m; Western Australia $88,935m; Tasmania $14,283m; Northern Territory $9,494m; and Australian Capital Territory $16,246m.


4 The statistical unit used to represent businesses and for which statistics are reported is, in most cases, the Australian Business Number (ABN) unit. The ABN unit is the business unit which has registered for an ABN and thus appears on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) administered Australian Business Register (ABR). This unit is suitable for ABS statistical needs when the business is simple in structure. For more significant and diverse businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical needs, the statistical unit used is the Type of Activity Unit (TAU). A TAU is comprised of one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an Enterprise Group that can report production and employment data for similar economic activities. Further details about the ABS economic statistical units used in this survey and in other ABS economic surveys (both sample and census) can be found in Chapter 2 of the Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA) 2002 (cat. no. 1218.0).


5 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'. Although outside the economic boundary of R&D as defined by the OECD, R&D performed overseas by Australian businesses is included in the data in this publication. See the Glossary for a fuller definition of R&D.

6 For a more comprehensive interpretation of the definition of R&D activity, see the Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC), 1998 (cat. no. 1297.0) or refer to the OECD publication Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys of Research and Experimental Development ('Frascati Manual') 2002, OECD, Paris, 2003.


7 The scope of this survey is all businesses within the business sector of Australia, excluding businesses mainly engaged in Agriculture, forestry and fishing (i.e. Division A of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0)). This is partly because of collection difficulties and partly because such businesses are believed to have very low R&D activity (agricultural R&D activity is generally carried out by specialised research institutes not included in ANZSIC Division A).

8 The business sector includes all businesses (whose primary activity is the production of goods and services for sale to the general public at a price intended to cover at least the costs of production) and the private non-profit institutions mainly serving them.

9 The vast majority of businesses in this sector are private businesses. The remainder are public businesses mainly engaged in trading or financial activities.


10 The R&D survey comprises a complete enumeration of businesses identified by the ABS as likely to have carried out R&D activity.

11 Within the scope of the survey, businesses were included in the collection if they:

  • reported R&D activity in previous R&D surveys; or
  • applied for an AusIndustry administered R&D Tax Concession and/or grant for industry R&D; or
  • were identified as likely to have R&D activity from reports in newspapers, industrial journals, research compendia etc.; or
  • indicated that R&D activity had been performed in the reference year via a coverage questionnaire.

12 The ABS continues to investigate enhancement of the above criteria, or the introduction of additional criteria, with the aim of further improving the coverage of the R&D survey.

13 For 2003-04, businesses identified as possibly undertaking biotechnology related R&D were added to the collection. Business names were obtained from lists held by Biotechnology Australia and other government sources.


14 The statistics in this publication are classified to industry in accordance with the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0). Aggregated groupings of industries annotated with n.e.c. reflect the remnant of the relevant ANZSIC Division.

15 Each ABN unit/TAU is classified by the ABS to the industry in which it mainly operates. In cases where an Enterprise Group sets up a dedicated research unit, that unit is classified to the predominant industry of the group rather than to Scientific Research (ANZSIC 7810), in accordance with standards laid down in the Frascati Manual.


16 Employment size relates to the number of persons employed by the business during the last pay period in June 2004.


17 Statistics classified by SEO and RFCD have been collected and presented in this publication. Data were subjectively allocated by businesses at the time of reporting. See the Technical Note on Reliability of Statistics for further detail. For more information on these classifications, see the Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC), 1998 (cat. no. 1297.0). Aggregated groupings of SEOs or RFCDs are annotated with n.e.c. and reflect the remnant of the relevant SEO Subdivision or RFCD Division.


18 Countries identified as locations for biotechnology related R&D outsourcing were classified in accordance with the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) 1998 (cat no. 1269.0). Aggregated groupings of countries annotated with n.e.c. reflect the remnant of continental countries not separately reported.


19 The bio-industry sector classification is an unregistered classification assembled by the ABS in conjunction with government and industry groups. This classification was established specifically for the biotechnology portion of the Business R&D survey, to enable areas within the biotechnology sector to be classified at a finer level.


20 The chain volume measures appearing in this publication are annually reweighted chain Laspeyres indexes referenced to the current price values in a chosen reference year (currently 2003-04). They are formed in a multistage process of which the major steps are described in Section 15 of the Information Paper: Introduction of Chain Volume Measures in the Australian National Accounts (cat. no. 5248.0).


21 Users may also wish to refer to the following publications:

      Australian Bureau of Statistics 1998, Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC), cat. no. 1297.0, ABS, Canberra
      Australian Bureau of Statistics 2004, Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia, 2002-03, cat. no. 8112.0, ABS, Canberra
      Australian Bureau of Statistics 2004, Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia, 2002-03, cat. no. 8109.0, ABS, Canberra
      Australian Bureau of Statistics 2004, Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2004, cat. no. 8111.0, ABS, Canberra
      Australian Bureau of Statistics 2005, Innovation in Australian Business 2003, cat. no. 8158.0, ABS, Canberra
      Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2003, Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys of Research and Experimental Development ('Frascati Manual') 2002, OECD, Paris

22 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The catalogue is available from any ABS office or the ABS web site <https://www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS also issues a daily release advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.


23 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


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