Business R&D spending keeps pace with growing economy

Media Release

In 2021-22 Business Expenditure on Research & Development was $20,642 million, up 14 per cent from 2019-20, according to new data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Robert Ewing, ABS head of business statistics said, “Today’s release gives governments and researchers information about the level and nature of business expenditure on Research & Experimental Development. This helps inform policy and strategy decisions to support businesses to undertake research.

“While there was a large rise in Business R&D spending in 2021-22, spending as a share of GDP has remained unchanged since 2017-18 at 0.9 per cent,” Mr Ewing said.

The Professional, scientific and technical services industry accounted for 34 per cent of R&D expenditure in 2021-22, totalling $6,972 million. This was followed by the Manufacturing industry, at 25 per cent, or $5,203 million and the Financial and insurance services industry, at 15 per cent or $3,072 million.

  1. Ranked by 2021-22 BERD.
  2. Data for the Industry with the 10th highest R&D expenditure (Other Services) has been suppressed due to data quality issues.  This has been replaced with the 11th highest Industry (Administrative and support services).

Figures released today also show business R&D expenditure by fields of research. Information and computing sciences, Engineering and Biomedical and clinical sciences make up 78 per cent of total R&D Business expenditure.

“In 2021-22, substantial R&D spending growth was recorded in Information and computing sciences, up 12 per cent to $7,927 million and Biomedical and clinical sciences, up 35 per cent to $2,949 million,” Mr Ewing said.

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