8158.0 - Innovation in Australian Business, 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/12/2006   
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December 7, 2006
Embargoed 11.30am (AEDT)

One third of businesses are innovators: ABS

Just over a third (34%) of Australian businesses undertook some type of innovation during the two years to December 2005, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today. This was up four percentage points from the two years ended December 2003.

By type of innovation, 'implementing new or significantly improved organisational/managerial processes' (25%) had the highest result. Just under 22% of businesses reported 'implementing new or significantly improved operational processes' and 19% of businesses reported 'introducing new or significantly improved goods or services'.

Over 7% of innovating business reported introducing new-to-the-world goods or services.

In 2004-05, innovating businesses spent $30,583 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'.

While South Australia retained the highest proportion of innovating businesses (40%), the strongest growth came from businesses in Western Australian with an eight percentage point increase in innovation since December 2003 (to 37%).

Electricity, gas and water supply industries had the highest proportion (49%) of innovating business in the two years ended December 2005. Businesses in accommodation, cafes and restaurants had the greatest increase in undertaking innovation up 13 percentage points since December 2003 to 36%.

Across all types of innovation, businesses with 20-99 employees recorded the largest increases since 2003 up six percentage points to 47%.

More than 58% of innovating businesses reported cost as a barrier to innovation. Lack of skilled staff was reported as a barrier to undertaking innovation by 27% of innovating businesses. Profit-related drivers were reported as a key reason for all types of innovation by 94% of innovating businesses.

Formal methods of intellectual property protection, such as copyright, trademarks and patents, were used by 27% of innovating businesses, while informal methods such as secrecy were used by 32% of innovating businesses.

More details are found in Innovation in Australian Business, 2005 (cat. no. 8158.0).