8158.0 - Innovation in Australian Business, 2003 (Reissue)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/02/2005  Reissue
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February 17, 2005
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
More than one third of businesses are innovators:ABS

More than one-third (35%) of Australian businesses undertook some type of innovation during the three years to December 2003, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today.

Types of innovation included 'implementing new or significantly improved operational processes' (23% of businesses), 'implementing new or significantly improved organisational/managerial processes' (21%) and 'introducing new or significantly improved goods or services' (17%).

While the highest number of Australia's innovating businesses were in New South Wales and Victoria, South Australia had the highest proportion of businesses innovating (46%) of the states and territories. More than half of businesses in the communication services and electricity, gas and water supply industries undertook innovation.

Larger businesses were more likely to undertake innovation. Six in ten businesses with employment of 100 or more undertook innovation compared to three in ten for businesses with employment of 5 to 19.

Total expenditure by all businesses on innovation and related activities (including research and development) was $20,296.6 million in 2002-03. Innovating businesses spent $13,123.4 million on the introduction of 'new or significantly improved goods or services' and the implementation of 'new or significantly improved operational and/or organisational/managerial processes'.

Innovating businesses in the manufacturing industry spent the most (27%) of all industries on innovation, while spending by innovating businesses in Victoria (36%) was higher than other states.

More than 62% of innovating businesses reported cost as a barrier to innovation. Profit related drivers were reported as a key reason for all types of innovation by 71% of innovating businesses.

Formal methods of intellectual property protection, such as copyright, trademarks and patents, were used by 21% of innovating businesses, while informal methods such as secrecy were used by 37% of innovating businesses. More than half of innovating businesses (55%) had no formal or informal protection of their intellectual property.

More details are found in Innovation in Australian Business, 2003 (cat. no. 8158.0).