8104.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2010-11 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/09/2012   
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Gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) represents the total expenditure devoted to R&D by the Business, Government, Higher Education and Private Non-Profit sectors. The most recent release of GERD occurred in 2008-09 Research and Experimental Development, Australia, All Sector Summary (cat. no. 8112.0) published in October 2010. This publication has since been ceased, with these data available in the individual R&D sector publications.

GERD and the ratio of GERD to GDP are headline aggregates used by analysts and policy makers, including the OECD for international comparisons. Up until 2008-09, it was possible to produce GERD based on an almost common reference period for all four sectors, every second year.

Changes to the R&D program

Following changes in the work program for R&D statistics within the ABS, and in particular the postponement of the 2010-11 Government and Private Non-Profit collection, it is no longer possible to derive a comparable estimate of GERD in the same manner as has been delivered in the past. As a consequence, the ABS has committed to providing a careful estimate of 2010-11 GERD with this release of the Research and Experimental Development, Businesses publication.

Government and Private Non-Profit expenditure on R&D

A method of estimating or modelling the 'missing' Government and Private Non-Profit sectors has been developed that provides the best estimate of the 2010-11 Government and Private Non-Profit expenditure on R&D. This approach utilises a combination of directly collected information, budget papers and annual reports. The methodology centres around the major contributing organisations from each sector which demonstrate a consistent share of total R&D expenditure over time. Their expenditure for 2010-11 is then extrapolated to represent an estimate for the whole sector. The modelled estimate calculated for the R&D expenditure of the Government and Private Non-Profit sectors was $4,747 million for 2010-11.

GERD 2010-11

Combining the modelled estimate for Government and Private Non-Profit with the Business and Higher Education sectors has produced a 2010-11 estimate of GERD for Australia of $30.8 billion, an increase of $2.5 billion (or 9%) over 2008-09.

GERD, by sector


4 983
6 940
8 676
12 639
r17 291
17 880
2 356
2 482
2 486
3 095
3 420
(a)3 833
Higher education
2 790
3 430
4 327
5 434
r6 844
8 203
Private non-profit
10 417
13 212
15 969
21 777
28 299
(a)30 830

r revised
(a) These estimates have been carefully modelled.

Following large increases over the last ten years, the rate of growth of GERD has slowed between 2008-09 and 2010-11.

Gross expenditure on R&D
Graph: Gross expenditure on R&D

GERD and Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

GERD as a proportion of GDP fell slightly, down from 2.25% in 2008-09 to 2.22% in 2010-11. This was due to the slower rate of growth of BERD over the period, compared to the rate of growth of GDP.

GERD, as a proportion of GDP
Graph: GERD, as a proportion of GDP