8101.0 - Innovation and Technology Update (Newsletter), Aug 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/08/2006   
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3.1 R&D Statistics User Forum
3.2 Biotechnology Statistics
3.3 R&D Statistics in the 2006 Year Book Australia
3.4 Forthcoming ABS Publications on R&D Statistics
3.5 International Standards


The first meeting of the newly established R&D Statistics User Forum was held in the ABS on the 4 April 2006. The Forum was an initiative of the ABS to facilitate greater interaction among key users of R&D statistics in Australia to discuss significant issues and provide a direction for R&D statistical data collection activities.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources (DITR), Department of Education, Science and Technology (DEST), Department of Communication, Information Technology and Arts (DCITA), Australian National University, the Productivity Commission and CSIRO besides staff from the ABS Innovation and Technology group.

The Forum discussed the following issues:
  • The use of R&D statistics in public policy making and decisions
  • Implications of the implementation of the revised Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 2006) for R&D Statistics users
  • Plans for harmonising the ABS and DITR's R&D statistics collection activities
  • Proposed changes to the format and schedule of key outputs on R&D statistics published by the ABS.

The next biennial meeting of the Forum is scheduled in October 2006.


The most recent Biotechnology Statistical User group meeting, organised by the Biotechnology Australia (BA), was held at the DITR on 5 May 2006. The ABS is a key partner in the Forum. Besides the hosts BA and the ABS, representatives from DEST, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries Forestry (DAFF), Department of Environment and Heritage (DEH), NSW Ministry of Science and Medical Research, Queensland government office of the Chief Scientist and the Queensland government office of Biotechnology attended the meeting.

The meeting discussed the following topics:
  • The use of OECD's current definition of biotechnology as a starting point for use in biotechnology statistical collections and impact assessment studies in Australia;
  • The conceptual model proposed as part of the information development plan (IDP) for biotechnology statistics
  • The prioritisation of policy issues identified for collection of specific statistics in biotechnology. The IDP is expected to provide a framework for the ABS biotechnology statistics collection as required by Australian biotechnology statistics stakeholders.


The Year Book features a chapter on the performance of Australia's R&D and Innovation sector, mostly sourced from latest ABS publications. Please see Chapter 25 in the Year Book Australia 2006 for comprehensive R&D data from the Australian business sector, government sector, higher education sector and private non-profit sector. The entire contents of the Year Book can be viewed free of charge in the ABS website www.abs.gov.au. To buy a printed copy or CD-ROM version of the Year Book please see section 6.1 of this Newsletter for details.


Key ABS R&D publications and their expected release dates:

Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2004 (cat. no. 8111.0) - 26 July 2006
Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2004-05 (cat. no. 8104.0) - 28 August 2006
Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia, 2004-05 (cat. no. 8109.0) - 06 October 2006
Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia, 2004-05 (cat. no. 8112.0) - 11 October 2006


The ABS surveys of R&D are conducted in accordance with standard guidelines promulgated by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and contained in the OECD publication, The Measurement of Scientific and Technological Activities (Frascati Manual 2002), is available free for viewing in www.OECD.org.

The OECD has recently initiated the revision of its Fields of Science (FOS), an R&D Statistics classification primarily used by the OECD for international comparisons and by the organisation member countries to provide their national R&D statistics to the organisation.

ABS is one of the key national statistical agencies assisting the OECD in the current revision of the FOS classification.