8104.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2004-05  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/08/2006   
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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 2005. The survey was conducted by mail questionnaire and a 92.6% response rate was obtained.

2 The GDP and GSP figures used to derive BERD/GDP and BERD/GSP ratios are current at the time of manuscript finalisation and are referenced in the tables below.

Expenditure on Gross Domestic Product, current prices


545 736
577 422
607 863
645 153
689 340
735 783
782 798
838 251
893 704

National Income, Expenditure and Product, Australian National Accounts, March Quarter 2006 (cat. no. 5206.0)

Gross State Product, current prices


275 358
197 266
132 432
53 635
85 470
13 502
9 042
16 091
290 746
212 243
144 701
56 737
92 339
14 794
9 381
17 309
305 437
222 022
158 506
59 819
100 900
16 114
10 418
18 306

Australian National Accounts, State Accounts (cat. no. 5220.0)


3 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).

4 During 2004-05, a comprehensive revision of ABN units (in scope of the R&D survey) took place, resulting in a number of ABN units being merged and replaced with TAU units. As a consequence of these changes, business counts from the 2004-05 survey onwards will not be comparable to previously released figures. Business counts may be available on request, subject to caveats.


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.

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 ABS R&D survey includes all businesses within the business sector of Australia, excluding those 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 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 if they:

  • reported R&D activity in previous surveys;
  • applied for an AusIndustry administered R&D Tax Concession and/or grant for industry R&D;
  • were identified as likely to have R&D activity from other sources such as 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 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.

13 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.


14 Employment size relates to the number of persons employed by the business during the last pay period in June 2005.


15 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.


16 Comprises an estimate of R&D expenditure for the following financial year by businesses that performed R&D in the reference period covered by this publication. Excluded from this estimate is expected R&D expenditure for business that did not perform R&D in the current reference period.


17 CVM in this publication are annually reweighted chain Laspeyres indexes referenced to the current price values in a chosen reference year (currently 2004-05). 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).


18 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 2005, Innovation in Australian Business 2003, cat. no. 8158.0, 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 2006, Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2004, cat. no. 8111.0, 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

19 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.


20 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.


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