1304.5 - Stats Talk WA (Newsletter), Mar 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/03/2007   
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    In Australian Businesses
    (ABS cat. no. 8158.0)

    The WA office of the ABS has responsibility for producing Australia-wide statistics relating to Innovation and Technology. Within this suite of statistics, Innovation in Australian Business is a high profile survey providing data on a wide range of innovative characteristics of businesses.

    Innovation is a key driver of economic growth. The main aim of the ABS Innovation Survey is to inform government policy makers, aiming to improve
    Australia’s international competitiveness.

    Content of the ABS Innovation Survey was based on the concepts and standard questions developed jointly by the OECD and Eurostat, known as the Oslo Manual.

    Results from the 2005 ABS Innovation Survey have recently been released on the ABS web site.

    Topics covered include:

    • incidence and type of innovation;

    • barriers and drivers of innovative activity;

    • collaboration skills and capabilities sought by innovative businesses;

    • intellectual property protection methods;

    • degree of novelty of innovation;

    • proportion of income;

    • expenditure related to innovation; and

    • source of funds for innovative activity.

    Broad level data is available from the summary publication, Innovation in Australian Business (ABS cat. no. 8158.0). Additionally, detailed data on all the topics covered has been loaded to the ABS web site as data cubes.

    The level of detail and information provided is in response to previously identified demand for much finer levels of innovation data, especially at the state by industry and state by employment size levels. These data cubes can be downloaded free of charge from the ABS web site.

    At the state level, Western Australian businesses reported the highest percentage point increase in innovation rates, rising from 29% in 2002-2003 to 37% in 2004-2005. Businesses in WA were the second most innovative state or territory in 2004-2005, following closely our neighbours in South Australia.

    Two of the key drivers for businesses in WA to innovate include ‘Responsiveness to customer needs’ (70%) and ‘Establish a new market’ (36%), both of which were reported by the highest proportion of businesses in any state or territory. WA businesses that did not innovate in 2004-2005 reported that the highest barrier to innovation was ‘Lack of skilled staff’ (36%). This was highest in WA businesses in the Property and Business Services and the Construction industries.

    Over 9% of WA’s innovating businesses employing 100 or more persons accessed government funding for innovative activity.

    Future data on innovation will be collected as part of the Business Characteristics Survey, with key innovation indicators collected annually and more detailed innovation activity data collected every second year.

    For further information or responses to queries regarding the Innovation survey, please contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.