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Over the ten years to 2008-09, GERD has more than tripled from $8.9 billion in 1998-99.
GERD and gross domestic product (GDP)
GERD as a proportion of GDP increased from 2.00% in 2006-07 to 2.21% in 2008-09.
The following table shows GERD/GDP ratios for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Although Australia's GERD/GDP ratio for 2008-09 remained below the Total OECD ratio of 2.33%, its growth from 2006-07 (0.21 percentage points) was greater than the growth in the Total OECD ratio (0.09 percentage points).
In 2008-09, the Business and Higher education sectors remained the largest contributors to GERD (at $16.9 billion and $6.7 billion, respectively). These two sectors also recorded the strongest growth in both dollar and percentage terms between 2006-07 and 2008-09: Business up $4.2 billion or 33%; and Higher education up $1.3 billion or 24%. The weakest growth in percentage terms was recorded by the Government sector, up 11% from 2006-07.
The Business sector was the only sector to increase its share of GERD, accounting for 61% of GERD in 2008-09, up 3 percentage points from 58% in 2006-07.
In 2008-09, at the industry level, the largest values of GERD were reported for Education and training (over $6.8 billion), Professional, scientific and technical services ($5.0 billion), Manufacturing ($4.3 billion) and Mining ($4.2 billion). These four industries combined contributed over 73% of GERD.
Almost all GERD for Education and training was attributable to the Higher education sector; all expenditure on R&D by the Higher education sector contributes to this industry. The Business sector contributed most of GERD for Manufacturing and all of GERD for Mining. In contrast, three of the four sectors made notable contributions to GERD for Professional, scientific and technical services.
Of all industries, Mining showed the largest dollar increase in expenditure on R&D from 2006-07 (up $1.5 billion), accounting for 25% of the increase in GERD. The next largest increases were reported by Professional, scientific and technical services (up $1.0 billion) and Financial and insurance services (up $0.9 billion).
Type of expenditure
In 2008-09, Current expenditure accounted for 93% or $25.7 billion of GERD which, in turn, was comprised of $10.5 billion in Labour costs and $15.2 billion in Other current expenditure. Capital expenditure totalled $2.0 billion over the period.
Growth in GERD from 2006-07 was driven by a $5.5 billion increase in Current expenditure (93% of the overall growth), primarily due to the contribution of the Business sector (up $4.2 billion). Total Capital expenditure increased by $0.4 billion.
Source of funds
The major sources of funds for R&D in 2008-09 were Business ($16.8 billion) and Commonwealth government ($8.4 billion). These two sources also recorded the largest dollar increases from 2006-07 (up $4.4 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively). While the Business sector was the primary recipient of Business funding across the sectors (at 97%), the Higher education sector received the most Commonwealth funding for R&D (at 67%).
For the definition of location, see Explanatory Note 10. New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria accounted for over half (55%) of GERD in 2008-09 (at $8.3 billion and $7.1 billion, respectively). NSW and Western Australia (WA) recorded the greatest dollar growth in GERD from 2006-07, with increases of $1.8 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively. WA also recorded the largest increase in its share of GERD (up 4 percentage points from 13% in 2006-07) and showed strong percentage growth in R&D expenditure (up 59% from 2006-07).
GERD and gross state product (GSP)
In 2008-09, GERD as a proportion of GSP was highest for the Australian Capital Territory (4.11%) and WA (2.70%). WA reported the largest growth in its GERD/GSP ratio, up 0.62 percentage points from 2.08% in 2006-07.
Type of activity
In 2008-09, 80% of GERD was directed into Experimental development ($11.5 billion) and Applied research ($10.6 billion). These two types of activity also recorded the strongest dollar growth from 2006-07, with Experimental development increasing by $2.8 billion and Applied research increasing by $2.2 billion. Pure basic research and Strategic basic research each increased by $0.5 billion.
Field of research
In 2008-09, Engineering accounted for the largest share of GERD (over 37% or $10.3 billion), followed by Information and computing sciences (over 17% or $4.9 billion) and Medical and health sciences (14% or $4.0 billion).
While the Business sector was the largest contributor to both Engineering and Information and computing sciences in 2008-09, its spending on Medical and health sciences was less than half that of the Higher education sector.
Socio-economic objective (SEO)
In 2008-09, just over two thirds of GERD was directed into the SEO sector of Economic development (67% or $18.7 billion). The next most prevalent SEO sector was Society (19% or $5.3 billion).
At the SEO division level, over half of GERD was directed into the four largest divisions: Manufacturing ($5.0 billion); Health ($4.0 billion); Energy (over $2.8 billion); and Mineral resources ($2.8 billion).
GROSS HUMAN RESOURCES DEVOTED TO R&D
Gross human resources devoted to R&D in 2008-09 totalled 136,696 person years of effort (PYE), an increase of 9,994 PYE (or 8%) from 2006-07.
Over the ten years to 2008-09, Gross human resources devoted to R&D has shown steady growth.
The majority of Human resources devoted to R&D in 2008-09 came from the Higher education (45%) and Business (39%) sectors. Together, these sectors accounted for 95% (or 9,499 PYE) of the increase in Gross human resources devoted to R&D, between 2006-07 and 2008-09.
The largest industry contributors to Gross human resources devoted to R&D were Education and training (over 61,418 PYE), Professional, scientific and technical services (26,395 PYE) and Manufacturing (17,182 PYE).
Of all indusries, Financial and insurance services showed the largest absolute growth in Human resources devoted to R&D between 2006-07 and 2008-09, up 2,612 PYE.
Type of resource
At 91,617 PYE, Researchers accounted for over two thirds (67%) of the Gross human resources devoted to R&D in 2008-09 and showed the largest growth in absolute terms from 2006-07 (up 4,416 PYE). Technicians showed the largest percentage increase in effort devoted to R&D (up 18% or 3,712 PYE) from 2006-07, followed by Other staff (up 10% or 1,867 PYE).
The growth in Technician effort was dominated by the Business sector (up 2,740 PYE), as was the growth in Other staff effort (up 2,185 PYE). The majority of growth in Researcher effort was attributable to the Higher education sector (up 2,473 PYE), however the Business sector also made a notable contribution (up 2,170 PYE).
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