During 2017-18, expenditure on R&D by Australian businesses was $17,438 million. Business expenditure on R&D (BERD) increased by 5% in current price terms and increased by 4% in chain volume terms from 2015-16.
Business human resources devoted to R&D in 2017-18 totalled 74,991 person years of effort (PYE), an increase of 6%.
Business resources devoted to R&D
|Expenditure on R&D|
|Current prices||$m||18 007||18 321||18 849||16 659||17 438|
|Chain volume measures(a)||$m||19 379||19 227||19 432||16 811||17 438|
|Human resources devoted to R&D||PYE||56 511||64 906||78 839||70 467||74 991|
a. The reference year for chain volume measures is 2017-18. Refer to the Chain volume measures section of the Methodology page for details.
Subsequent expenditure figures and supporting commentary relate to current price terms.
BERD as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decreased from 1.0% in 2015-16 to 0.9% in 2017-18.
Business expenditure on R&D (BERD)
- Ranked by 2017-18 BERD
- The four industries with the greatest contribution to BERD are the Professional, scientific and technical services ($5,113 million or 29%), Manufacturing ($4,599 million or 26%), Financial and insurance services ($2,847 million or 16%) and Mining ($1,050 million or 6%). Together, these four industries accounted for more than three quarters (78%) of total BERD.
- Professional, scientific and technical services recorded the largest increase (up $1,362 million or 36%) followed by Manufacturing (up $691 million or 18%). Conversely, Mining and Financial and insurance services recorded the largest decrease, down $826 million (44%) and $368 million (11%) respectively.
BERD and Gross State Product (GSP)
The state or territory with the highest level of BERD as a proportion of GSP was New South Wales (1.13%). The ACT was the only location that showed an increase in the BERD/GSP ratio (up 0.30 percentage points to 0.55%). Western Australia showed the largest decrease (down 0.26 percentage points) from 0.87% to 0.61% over a two year period.
BERD, by location of expenditure - proportion of GSP(a)
a. Refer to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross State Product (GSP) section of the Methodology page for details.
Location of expenditure
Location of expenditure relates to the region in which the R&D activity was performed (refer to the Location of expenditure section of the Explanatory Notes for more information).
- New South Wales and Victoria continued to have the highest levels of BERD, with $6,823 million (39% of total BERD) and $4,545 million (26% of total BERD) respectively.
- BERD incurred Overseas recorded the largest increase in dollar terms, up $534 million (66%).
- BERD in Western Australia showed the largest decrease down $490 million (24%), followed by Queensland down $43 million (2%).