8111.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2008 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/05/2010   
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1 The statistics presented in this release have been compiled from data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) from Australian higher education institutions in the Survey of Research and Experimental Development (R&D). For the higher education sector, the survey is conducted biennially and based on a single calendar year reference period.

2 The reference period for statistics presented in this issue is the year ended 31 December 2008.


3 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'.

4 For a more comprehensive interpretation of the definition of R&D activity, 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 of Research and Experimental Development - Frascati Manual 2002.

5 Data providers self-classify R&D expenditure based on their interpretation of OECD/ABS definitions. The ABS makes every effort to ensure correct and consistent interpretation and reporting of these data and applies consistent processing methodologies. See also the Reliability of statistics and Revisions sections of the Technical Note.


6 The OECD definition of the higher education sector encompasses universities and other institutions of post-secondary education regardless of their source of finance or legal status. The scope of the ABS R&D survey is based on the OECD definition, but excludes colleges of Technical and Further Education. (For the 2008 survey, 40 Australian higher education institutions were in scope and data collected from each.)

7 All research activity performed by in-scope institutions during the reference period, irrespective of the source of funds, is included in the survey. This includes research performed by institutions:

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

8 R&D performed on an institution's campus by other legal entities (such as incorporated CRCs or university controlled entities) or employees of other organisations, is excluded from the survey. 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).


9 Data shown in this release represent the main campus or head office location of the reporting institution, with the exception of the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) which is shown against the Australian Capital Territory.


10 Field of research, Socio-economic objective and Type of activity 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). Earlier issues of this release used the Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC).

11 The ABS has not compiled previous cycle estimates on an ANZSRC basis or 2008 estimates on an ASRC basis. Previous cycle data compiled on an ASRC basis (including revised data for 2006) are available in the data cubes accompanying this release. See also the Comparability of Estimates Over Time section of the Technical Note.


12 Total cost of R&D undertaken is equivalent to direct expenditure plus indirect (overhead) expenditure.

13 In compiling R&D statistics, institutions were asked to provide data on:
  • direct staff inputs (i.e. staff directly performing R&D);
  • direct expenditure (i.e. expenses directly attributable to R&D); and
  • other staff and resources supporting, but not directly performing, R&D.

14 Institutions were also required to indicate whether overheads had been included in reported data. In cases where data did not include overheads, an estimate was calculated by either:
  • the institution identifying the value of R&D related overhead costs to be apportioned across relevant projects/schools; or
  • the ABS, using a methodology agreed to by institutions and Universities Australia.


15 In calculating HERD/Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and HERD/Gross State Product (GSP) ratios presented in this issue, the most recent GDP and GSP values available were used. These values are referenced in the tables below.

Gross Domestic Product, current prices


622 695
708 889
804 361
925 864
1 091 327
1 258 870

Source: Australian National Acounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, Dec 2009 (cat. no. 5206.0), released 3 March 2010
Gross State Product, current prices


352 162
261 200
209 173
71 725
138 688
21 249
14 339
22 791
402 334
291 637
243 901
78 986
169 950
23 176
17 168
25 969

Source: Australian National Accounts, State Accounts, 2008-09 (cat. no. 5220.0), Reissue released 22 December 2009

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

17 While statistics presented in this issue relate to the 2008 calendar year, financial year GDP and GSP data are used to ensure consistency with ratios to be published in Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia, 2008-09 (cat. no. 8112.0).


18 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 2008). 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 Measures and Price Indexes (cat. no. 5248.0).

19 Deflators used to calculate the chain volume measure of expenditure on R&D have been 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. This is the first issue of this release to present chain volume estimates calculated using the revised deflators.


20 Upcoming releases of R&D statistics include:
      Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia, 2008-09 (cat. no. 8109.0), scheduled for release 15 July 2010
      Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2008-09 (cat. no. 8104.0), scheduled for release 23 September 2010
      Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia, 2008-09 (cat. no. 8112.0), scheduled for release 11 October 2010


21 Users may also wish to refer to the following ABS releases:
22 Relevant OECD publications include:
      Main Science and Technology Indicators 2009/2
      The Measurement of Scientific and Technological Activities: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys of Research and Experimental Development - Frascati Manual 2002


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


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