8109.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia, 2012-13 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/07/2014   
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1 The statistics presented in this release have been compiled from data collected from Australian government and private non-profit (PNP) organisations in the Survey of Research and Experimental Development (R&D), Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations for 2012-13.

2 The survey was conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) via mail questionnaire and achieved a response rate of 99.7%.


3 For the government and PNP sectors, the survey is based on a single financial year. The reference period for statistics presented in this issue is the financial year ended 30 June 2013. The survey was deferred for a year in 2010-11 and conducted consecutively for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 financial years. The frequency of the Survey of R&D, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations will return to biennial following this 2012-13 cycle. The next survey will be conducted for the 2014-15 financial year.


4 R&D, as collected by the ABS, is defined in accordance with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) standard as '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'.

5 For a more comprehensive interpretation of the definition of R&D, see the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008 (cat. no. 1297.0) or refer to the OECD publication The Measurement of Scientific and Technological Activities: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development - Frascati Manual 2002.

6 Data providers report and self-classify R&D survey information based on their interpretation of OECD and ABS definitions and classifications. The ABS makes every effort to ensure correct and consistent interpretation and reporting of these data by applying consistent processing methodologies. See also the Non-Sampling Error and Revisions sections of the Technical Note.


7 The source of the frame for the Survey of R&D, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations is the ABS Business Register (ABSBR). The ABSBR records information about statistical units and is used to create the frames for most ABS economic collections.

Statistical units defined on the ABSBR

8 Statistical units are those entities from which statistics are collected, or about which statistics are compiled. In ABS economic statistics, the statistical unit is generally the business, or in the case of this survey, the government or PNP organisation.

9 The ABS uses an economic statistics units model on the ABSBR to describe the characteristics of organisations, and the structural relationships between related organisations. Within large, complex and diverse organisations, the units model is also used to define reporting units that can provide data to the ABS at suitable levels of detail.

10 The units model allocates organisations to one of two sub-populations. The vast majority of organisations are in what is called the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Maintained Population (ATOMP), while the remaining organisations are in the ABS Maintained Population (ABSMP). Together these two sub-populations make up the ABSBR population.

11 Most organisations in Australia need to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN) and are then included on the whole-of-government register of businesses, the Australian Business Register (ABR), which is maintained by the ATO. Most of these organisations have simple structures; therefore, the unit registered for an ABN will satisfy ABS statistical requirements. For these organisations, the ABS has aligned its statistical units structure with the ABN unit. The organisations with simple structures constitute the ATOMP, and the ABN unit is used as the statistical unit for ABS economic collections.

12 For the population of organisations where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical requirements, the ABS maintains its own units structure through direct contact with each organisation. These organisations constitute the ABSMP. This population consists typically of large, complex and diverse organisations. For organisations in the ABSMP, statistical units comprise the Enterprise Group, the Enterprise and the Type of Activity Unit (TAU). The range of activities across the Enterprise Group can be very diverse. The TAU represents a grouping of one or more organisation entities within the Enterprise that cover all of the operations within an industry subdivision and for which a basic set of financial production and employment data can be reported.

13 The current economic statistics units model was introduced into the ABS in mid 2002, to better use the information available as a result of The New Tax System (TNTS). For more information please refer to the Information Paper: Improvements in ABS Economic Statistics [Arising from the New Tax System], 2002 (cat. no. 1372.0).

14 Statistical units for the Survey of R&D, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations consist of ABN units for the ATOMP and TAUs from the ABSMP.


15 The Survey of R&D, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations aims to be a complete enumeration of Australian government and PNP organisations with intramural expenditure on R&D during the reference period.

16 Intramural expenditure is defined as expenditure for R&D performed by the statistical unit regardless of the source of funds. Expenditure made outside the statistical unit but in support of intramural R&D are included; for example, payments for analytical work, engineering or specialised services which form part of an R&D project performed by the statistical unit. R&D funded by the statistical unit but performed wholly by another on their behalf (extramural R&D) is excluded. R&D performed overseas by Australian organisations is included. For further information, refer to the OECD Frascati Manual 2002.

17 The ABS identifies organisations for inclusion in the survey if the organisation:

  • reported expenditure on R&D in previous surveys; or
  • was identified through other sources such as newspapers, journals, research compendia, etc. as likely to have expenditure on R&D.

18 From the 2004-05 cycle of the Survey of R&D, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, the scope for the Government and PNP sectors has been based on the Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA); more specifically, Sector 3 (General Government) and Sector 5 (Not-For-Profit Institutions Serving Households).

19 Some information about SISCA Sector 3 and Sector 5 is provided below. For further details about the ABS sector classifications, refer to Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA) 2008 (cat. no. 1218.0).

General Government sector

20 The General Government sector comprises all government units of the Australian government, each state and territory government, and all local government authorities. It includes courts, the Governor General's office, public universities, government departments, and all resident non-market Not-For-Profit Institutions (NPIs) that are controlled and mainly financed by those government units.

21 While the Government sector for the Survey of R&D, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations is based on SISCA, the survey excludes higher education institutions, e.g. universities (which are included in the Survey of R&D, Higher Education Organisations), as per the Frascati Manual 2002 guidelines. Local government organisations are also excluded from the survey, as they are considered to have low R&D expenditure.

22 Government entities mainly engaged in market production or financial activities are not included in the General Government sector.

NPIs Serving Households sector

23 The NPIs Serving Households sector consists of resident non-market operators providing goods and services to households free or at prices that are not economically significant. It includes NPIs that are mainly financed from household member subscriptions and produce benefits primarily for the household members, and NPIs created for philanthropic purposes which are financed mainly from donations or government grants.

24 NPIs engaged in market production are not included in the NPIs Serving Households sector.


25 Type of activity, fields of research and socio-economic objective statistics presented in this release have been collected and compiled based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008 (cat. no. 1297.0).

26 Some organisations may have experienced difficulty in classifying their R&D projects to type of activity, fields of research and socio-economic objective. See also the Non-Sampling Error and Revisions sections of the Technical Note.


27 Location of expenditure relates to the region(s) in which the organisation reported having performed R&D, during the reference period. This may not be the head office location of the organisation.


28 The most recent GDP and GSP values available were used to calculate the R&D expenditure/GDP and R&D expenditure/GSP ratios presented in this issue. These values are referenced in the tables below and have been revised from those used to calculate ratios in previous issues.



801 263
922 711
1 087 556
1 258 654
1 486 072
1 522 874

Source: Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, December 2013 (cat. no. 5206.0), released 5 March 2014

GROSS STATE PRODUCT, current prices


462 831
328 285
284 441
93 031
240 811
24 342
18 813
33 517
471 354
333 393
294 548
94 210
252 999
24 191
19 860
34 414

Source: Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, 2012-13 (cat. no. 5220.0), released 28 November 2013

29 GDP is estimated by the ABS according to the international standards contained in the System of National Accounts, 2008 (2008 SNA) and is not directly comparable to GDP for countries where these standards have not been applied.


30 The chain volume measures appearing in this release are annually reweighted chain Laspeyres indexes referenced to the current price values in a chosen reference year (currently 2011-12). They can be thought of as current price values re-expressed in (i.e. based on) the prices of the previous year and linked together to form continuous time series. They are formed in a multi-stage process of which the major steps are described in Section 15 of the Information Paper: Australian National Accounts, Introduction of Chain Volume and Price Indexes (cat. no. 5248.0).

R&D deflators

31 With the implementation of 2008 SNA, deflators used to calculate the chain volume measure of expenditure on R&D were revised to better capture changes in the unit value of labour used in the production of R&D services, and to increase and refine the number of products included in the deflators. The revised deflators have been used for the Survey of R&D, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations statistics from the 2008-09 survey cycle.


32 The next release of R&D statistics will be from the Survey of R&D, Businesses, Australia for the 2013-14 financial year, scheduled for release in the second half of 2015.


33 Users may also wish to refer to the following ABS releases:
34 Relevant OECD publications include:


35 Other information including data cubes in spreadsheet format, relating to R&D and innovation can be found on the ABS website. See the Innovation, Science and Technology theme page under Topics @ a Glance/Industry.


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