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Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia

Expenditure and human resources devoted to Research and Experimental Development (R&D) carried out by businesses in Australia

Reference period
2019-20 financial year

Key statistics

  • During 2019-20, business expenditure on R&D (BERD) was $18,171 million.
  • Business human resources devoted to R&D totalled 77,724 person years of effort (PYE).
  • Businesses in the Professional, scientific and technical services industry recorded the largest increase in R&D expenditure (up $988 million or 19%) followed by Manufacturing (up $164 million or 4%) from 2017-18.
  • 39% of total business R&D expenditure was in the field of Information and Computing Sciences.

Business resources devoted to Research and Experimental Development (R&D)

Note that data collected in this release relate to business conditions pre-COVID-19 as well as during the pandemic.

Business resources devoted to R&D
   2011-122013-142015-162017-182019-20
Expenditure on R&D       
 Current prices$m18,32118,84916,65917,43818,171
 Chain volume measures(a)$m19,49419,69217,03417,67018,171
Human resources devoted to R&D PYE64,90678,83970,46774,99177,724

a. The reference year for chain volume measures is 2019-20. 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) was 0.9% in 2019-20, the same proportion as 2017-18.

 

Business expenditure on R&D (BERD)

  1. Ranked by 2019-20 BERD

The three industries with the greatest contribution to BERD are Professional, scientific and technical services ($6,101 million or 34%), Manufacturing ($4,763 million or 26%), and Financial and insurance services ($2,714 million or 15%). Together these three industries accounted for three quarters (75%) of total BERD.

 

BERD and Gross State Product (GSP)

The state or territory with the highest level of BERD as a proportion of GSP was Victoria (1.05%). Four locations showed an increase in the BERD/GSP ratio with Tasmania showing the largest increase (up 0.18 percentage points to 0.76%).

BERD, by location of expenditure - proportion of GSP(a)
 NSWVICQLDSAWATASNTACT
 %%%%%%%%
2019-201.021.050.620.650.440.760.190.45
2017-181.131.030.540.750.620.580.130.58

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 Methodology page for more information.

  • New South Wales and Victoria continued to have the highest levels of BERD, with $6,446 million (35% of total BERD) and $4,896 million (27% of total BERD).
  • BERD incurred Overseas recorded the largest increase in dollar terms, up $643 million (48%) to $1,982 million in 2019-20.
  • BERD in New South Wales showed the largest decrease down $377 million (6%), followed by Western Australia down $187 million (12%) to $1,405 million in 2019-20.

 

Fields of Research and Socio-Economic Objectives

For the first time, Fields of Research (FoR) and Socio-Economic Objectives (SEO) data presented in this issue have been collected and compiled based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2020. Previous releases of this issue used the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008.

 

Fields of Research (FoR) classifies R&D expenditure based on the area of knowledge and methodologies used in the R&D.

The top six Fields of Research combined represent 91% of BERD in 2019-20.

 

Socio-Economic Objectives (SEO) classifies R&D expenditure based on the area in which the purpose or the outcome of the R&D is perceived.

The Socio-Economic Objectives of Manufacturing and Information and Communications Services, combined, account for half (50%) of BERD in 2019-20.

Gross expenditure on R&D (GERD)

Gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) represents the total expenditure devoted to R&D by the Business, Government, Higher Education and Private Non-Profit sectors. These estimates are modelled. Refer to the Modelled estimates of GERD section in the Methodology page for more information.

In 2019-20, GERD for Australia is estimated at $35,602 million, an increase of $2,540 million (8%) over a two year period.

a. Higher education estimates have been modelled in 2011-12.

b. From 2013-14 Government, Private non-profit and Higher education estimates have been modelled.

c. Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the component items and totals.

GERD and Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

GERD as a proportion of GDP was 1.79% in 2019-20, the same proportion as 2017-18.

GERD, as a proportion of GDP
 2011-122013-142015-162017-182019-20
 %%%%%
GERD/GDP2.112.091.881.791.79

Data downloads

Data files

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8104.0.