8104.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2003-04  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/09/2005   
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Computer based collection, organisation and analysis of biological information, especially genomics and molecular modelling (DNA/RNA/protein sequencing and databases for humans, plants etc).


The application of science and engineering principles to living organisms as well as parts, products or models thereof, to alter living or non-living materials for the production of knowledge, goods and services.

Capital expenditure

Expenditure on the acquisition of fixed tangible assets such as land, buildings, vehicles, plant, machinery and equipment attributable to R&D activity.

Chain volume measures

Annually reweighted chain Laspeyres indexes referenced to the current price values in a chosen reference year (currently 2003-04). They are formed in a multistage process of which the major steps are described in Section 15 of the Information Paper: Introduction of Chain Volume Measures in the Australian National Accounts (cat no. 5248.0).

Current expenditure

Expenditure on direct labour costs, materials, fuels, rent and hiring, repairs and maintenance, data processing etc. and the proportion of expenditure on general services and overheads which are attributable to R&D activity.

Human resources devoted to R&D

The effort of researchers, technicians and other staff directly involved with R&D activity. Overhead staff (e.g. administrative and general service employees such as personnel officers, janitors, etc.) whose work indirectly supports R&D, are excluded.

Labour costs

Expenditure relating to: wages and salaries; overtime earnings; penalty payments; shift allowances; employer contributions into superannuation; fringe benefits and payroll taxes; severance, termination and redundancy payments; workers' compensation premiums/costs; provisions for employee entitlements; salaries and fees of directors and executives; retainers and commissions of persons who received a retainer; bonuses; annual and other types of paid leave.

Other current expenditure

Expenditure on: materials, fuels and other inputs; rent, leasing and hiring expenses; repair and maintenance expenses; payments to outside organisations for use of specialised testing facilities or for analytical work, engineering or other specialised services in support of R&D projects carried out by the business; commission and consultant expenses for research projects carried out by the business (except direct labour costs); software for own account produced as part of R&D; and the proportion of expenditure on general services and overheads which is attributable to R&D activity.

Other supporting staff

Skilled and unskilled craftpersons, secretarial and clerical staff directly associated with R&D activity.

Person years of effort

One person year of effort is equal to a full time employee whose time is wholly devoted to R&D for a whole year.

R&D activity

The systematic investigation or experimentation involving innovation or technical risk. The outcome of which is new knowledge, with or without a specific practical application, or new or improved products, processes, materials, devices or services. R&D activity extends to modifications to existing products/processes. R&D activity ceases and pre-production begins when work is no longer experimental.

Research field

Field in which the R&D activity was performed. The RFCD classification is primarily structured around disciplines or activities. In short, it describes the nature of the research being performed.


Those involved with the conception and/or development of new products/processes (e.g. executives and directors involved in the planning or management of scientific and technical aspects of R&D projects; and software developers/programmers). They exclude executives and directors concerned primarily with budgets and human resources rather than project content.

Socio-economic objective

The broad socio-economic areas of expected benefit rather than the immediate objectives of the researcher. The SEO classification defines the main areas of Australian economic and social activity to which the results of research programs are applied. In short, it describes the purpose of the research.


Those performing technical tasks in support of R&D activity, normally under the direction and supervision of a researcher. These tasks include preparation of experiments, taking records, preparation of charts and graphs, etc.