8111.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2012 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/05/2014   
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1 The statistics presented in this release have been compiled from data collected from Australian higher education institutions in the Survey of Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations for 2012. 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 2012.


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 report and self-classify R&D expenditure 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.


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 2012 survey, 41 Australian higher education institutions were in scope and data collected from each.

7 Intramural expenditure, which is defined as expenditure for R&D performed by in scope institutions during the reference period irrespective of the source of funds, is included in the survey. Expenditure made outside the statistical unit but in support of intramural R&D are included. For further information, refer to the OECD Frascati Manual 2002. Intramural expenditure 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 R&D performed overseas by Australian higher education institutions is included. Due to the very small amount of overseas expenditure, it is not separately identified.


10 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 part of the University of New South Wales but is shown against the Australian Capital Territory.


11 Fields 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).


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

13 Institutions were 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.


14 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 table below and have been revised from those used to calculate ratios in previous issues.


2002 - 03
2004 - 05
2006 - 07
2008 - 09
2010 - 11
2012 - 13

801 263
922 711
1 087 556
1 258 654
1 406 670
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


2012 - 13
476 434
337 493
290 158
95 123
242 697
24 360
20 113
35 088
2010 - 11
441 249
312 834
267 942
89 789
221 852
24 232
17 449
31 323

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

15 GDP is estimated by the ABS according to the 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.

16 While statistics presented in this issue relate to the 2012 calendar year, financial year GDP and GSP data are used to ensure consistency with ratios published in other ABS R&D releases which use a financial year as the reporting period.


17 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 2012). All price values for previous years are re-expressed in (i.e. based on) the prices of the current 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).

R&D deflators

18 With the implementation of the 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 Higher Education R&D statistics since the 2008 survey cycle.


19 Upcoming releases of R&D statistics include:
      Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia, 2012-13 (cat. no. 8109.0), scheduled for release in July 2014.


20 Users may also wish to refer to the following ABS releases:
21 Relevant OECD publications include:

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


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