Research and Experimental Development - General Government (Survey of)

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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)


The Survey of R&D, Government Organisations, collects estimates of R&D expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D by government organisations in Australia. The data are classified by type of expenditure, source of funds, location of expenditure, type of activity, fields of research, socio-economic objectives and type of resource. The survey is a census of likely R&D performers conducted biennially based on a financial year reference period.

The Survey of R&D, Government Organisations is part of a suite of ABS Research and Experimental Development (R&D) surveys (covering the Private Non-Profit, Government, Higher Education and Business sectors) which collectively produce statistics to enable the nature and distribution of R&D activity in Australia to be monitored and analysed. The information is used by government and advisers to government, international organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), businesses, economists and others. The information is used for purposes such as policy formulation, allocation of funds and the determination of priorities for research and development.

The Survey of R&D, Government Organisations aims to be a complete enumeration of government organisations with intramural expenditure on R&D during the survey reference period.

The scope for the government sector is based on the OECD sector definitions. The Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) is used to define each of the sectors, as the composition of the relevant SISCA sectors closely aligns with the OECD definitions. The government sector is defined by Sector 3 or SISCA 3000 (General Government). Also included in the government sector are a small number of units with SISCA 1009 (Other Non-Financial Corporations), where these are determined to be SISCA 3000.

For definitions of the General Government Serving Households sector, please see the SISCA section of the publication Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA), 2008 (cat no. 1218.0). Note that government entities mainly engaged in market production are not included in the General Government Serving Households sectors. As per the OECD definitions of the government sector, these enterprises are included in the business sector.

The government sector for the survey excludes higher education institutions (e.g. universities), which are included in the higher education sector as per OECD sector guidelines. Local government organisations are also excluded from the survey, as their contribution to R&D expenditure is considered to be minimal.


    Conceptual framework

The suite of ABS R&D surveys are conducted in accordance with international guidelines outlined in the OECD Guidelines for Collecting and Reporting Data on Research and Experimental Development – Frascati Manual 2015. This manual forms the conceptual framework for the surveys for all expenditure and human resources data items.

The surveys also use the classification developed by the ABS and Statistics New Zealand for use in the measurement and analysis of R&D activity undertaken in the two countries. This classification is the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008 (cat. no. 1297.0), which itself follows the guidelines prescribed in the Frascati Manual.

    Main outputs
Government expenditure on R&D: Total R&D expenditure is output both in current prices and chain volume measures. Value of expenditure on R&D (current prices) and proportion of total expenditure on R&D by type of expenditure, source of funds, location of expenditure, type of activity, fields of research and socio-economic objective.

Government human resources devoted to R&D: Human resources devoted to R&D (expressed in person years of effort) and proportion of total human resources devoted to R&D by type of resource (i.e. researchers, technicians and other staff directly involved in R&D activities).

Outputs are released in Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia (cat. no. 8109.0).

Location of expenditure: States and Territories of Australia plus an Overseas category

Type of activity (TOA), Fields of Research (FOR) and Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008 (ABS cat. no. 1297.0)

    Other concepts (summary)

    New South Wales
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Northern Territory
    Other (specify below)

    Comments and/or Other Regions


    Data are collected by location of expenditure, which is the region(s) in which the organisation performed R&D. This may not be the head office location of the organisation. Location of expenditure includes states, territories and overseas.

    2 Yearly

    Frequency comments

    1978-79 to 1988-89 - Annual complete enumeration of likely R&D performers
    1990-91 to 2008-09 - Biennial complete enumeration of likely R&D performers
    2011-12 and 2012-13 - Annual complete enumeration of likely R&D performers
    2014-15 - Biennial complete enumeration of likely R&D performers


    Data availability comments
    Statistics compiled from the data collected are released approximately 12 months after the reference period.

    27/04/2018 11:31 AM