1006.0 - Forward Work Program, 2013-14 to 2016-17  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/06/2013   
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Contents >> Statistical Programs >> Innovation and Technology Statistics



The Innovation and Technology Program provides data to assist understanding of the impact of research and experimental development, innovation and new technologies on economic and social outcomes. It provides:

  • measures of the penetration and use of selected new technologies, particularly information and communication technology (ICT), within Australia, for both businesses and households
  • measures of research and experimental development undertaken by businesses, governments, higher education institutions and private not for profit organisations
  • measures of innovation for Australian businesses
  • the Business Longitudinal Database, which is a tool for understanding business activity and possible links to business performance and productivity.

Clients of the program include:
  • Australian government agencies including the Departments of: Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy; Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education; Climate Change and Energy Efficiency; and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry as well as the Reserve Bank of Australia, Productivity Commission and Australian Communications and Media Authority
  • state and territory government departments
  • industry associations, research organisations, universities and businesses.

Statistics for expenditure on research and experimental development are important inputs to the Australian National Accounts, and accordingly, the ABS National Accounts Program is a key client of the Innovation and Technology Program.


The program produces a range of statistical outputs, showing:
  • use of ICT by Australian businesses and households
  • internet activity conducted through the Australian Internet Service Provider industry
  • innovation activities undertaken within the Australian economy
  • research and experimental development undertaken by businesses, government, universities and private non-profit organisations
  • selected business characteristics data.

The program is responsible for the collection and publication of Venture Capital and Later Stage Private Equity statistics on an annual basis. This work is user funded.

The program is also responsible for the production of the Business Longitudinal Database Confidentialised Unit Record File (BLD CURF). A new BLD CURF is released as each panel of businesses completes five years of reporting. The program undertakes analytical work using the BLD in the subject field of innovation and technology.

The program contributes to the work of national and international agencies, through input to the review and development of relevant statistical standards and frameworks. Related research papers and discussion papers are made available via the ABS website.


The main medium-term developments in the program are to:
  • develop a 10 year plan for Innovation and Technology Statistics to provide a clear understanding of relevant policies as well as related statistical requirements to ensure the ABS is providing the most relevant information for the funding available - due February 2014
  • in response to user feedback, examine options for enhancing the outputs of the Research and Development (R&D) Statistics program - ongoing
  • contribute to the review of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD): Frascati Manual 2002: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development which is being undertaken by the Working Party of National Experts on Science and Technology Indicators (NESTI) - due 2015
  • establish the Business Longitudinal Database as the pre-eminent source of data for firm level studies including productivity analysis by working closely with users to improve usability of the current Confidentialised Unit Record Files and examining options to increase access to ABS firm level unit record data holdings - ongoing.


Jacky Hodges, Assistant Statistician, Innovation and Technology

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