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Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia

Data on expenditure and human resources devoted to research and development (R&D) carried out by government and private non-profit organisations

Reference period
2016-17
Released
5/07/2018

Government resources devoted to research and experimental development (R&D)

During the 2016-17 financial year, expenditure on R&D performed by Australian government organisations was $3,279 million. Commonwealth government organisations contributed $2,139 million (65%), and state and territory government organisations contributed $1,140 million (35%), to total government expenditure on R&D (GOVERD).

GOVERD decreased 2% in current price terms and 4% in chain volume terms between 2014-15 and 2016-17.

Government resources devoted to R&D

   2006-072008-092011-122012-132014-152016-17
Expenditure on R&D - Current prices       
 Commonwealth$m
2 046
2 252
2 426
2 345
2 257
2 139
 State/territory$m
1 049
1 169
1 123
1 381
1 072
1 140
 Total(a)$m
3 095
3 420
3 549
3 725
3 329
3 279
Expenditure on R&D - Chain volume measures(b)       
 Commonwealth$m
2 657
2 755
2 761
2 556
2 312
2 139
 State/territory$m
1 363
1 429
1 278
1 506
1 098
1 140
 Total(a)$m
4 019
4 184
4 039
4 062
3 409
3 279
Human resources devoted to R&D       
 CommonwealthPYE
9 481
9 209
9 800
9 820
8 443
8 000
 State/territoryPYE
7 279
7 834
6 889
6 561
6 273
6 773
 Total(a)PYE
16 760
17 042
16 689
16 381
14 715
14 773
a. Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the component items and totals.
b. The reference period for chain volume measures is 2016-17. See Methodology for details.
 


Subsequent expenditure figures and supporting commentary relate to current price terms.

R&D expenditure by Commonwealth government organisations decreased $118 million (5%) in 2016-17. R&D expenditure by State and territory government organisations increased $68 million (6%) from 2014-15.

Government expenditure on R&D, summary statistics

 COMMONWEALTHSTATE/TERRITORYTOTAL(a)
2014-152016-172014-152016-172014-152016-17
$m$m$m$m$m$m
Type of expenditure      
 Capital expenditure      
  Land, buildings and other structures
102
74
30
38
132
112
  Other capital expenditure
178
139
38
31
216
171
  Total(a)
280
213
68
69
348
282
 Current expenditure      
  Labour costs
1 210
1 204
620
687
1 831
1 892
  Other current expenditure
767
721
383
384
1 150
1 105
  Total(a)
1 978
1 926
1 004
1 071
2 981
2 996
Total expenditure on R&D(a)
2 257
2 139
1 072
1 140
3 329
3 279
a. Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the component items and totals.
 

GOVERD and Gross domestic product (GDP)

GOVERD as a proportion of GDP decreased from 0.21% in 2014-15 to 0.19% in 2016-17.

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  1. See Methodology for details
     

Government expenditure on R&D (GOVERD)

Type of expenditure

In 2016-17, GOVERD included $2,996 million (91%) in Current expenditure and $282 million (9%) in Capital expenditure. The largest component of GOVERD in 2016-17 was Labour costs, at $1,892 million (58%) of GOVERD. This was followed by Other current expenditure, at $1,105 million (34%) of GOVERD.

In 2016-17, total Capital expenditure decreased $66 million (19%), with total Current expenditure increasing $15 million (1%). Compared to 2014-15, Other current expenditure recorded the largest decrease in dollar terms, down $46 million (4%), followed by Other capital expenditure, also down $46 million (21%). Labour costs was the only type of expenditure that recorded an increase, up $61 million (3%) in 2016-17.

Source of funds

The two main sources of funds for GOVERD in 2016-17 were Own funds, $2,209 million (67% of GOVERD) and Other Commonwealth government, $323 million (10% of GOVERD). These were also the main sources of funds in 2014-15.

Between 2014-15 and 2016-17, Other Commonwealth government recorded the largest dollar decrease, down $131 million (29%), followed by Universities, down $44 million (83%).

Location of expenditure

Location of expenditure relates to the region in which R&D activity was performed; see Methodology for details.

In 2016-17, Victoria ($792 million) and New South Wales ($626 million) together accounted for 43% of total GOVERD. Australian Capital Territory recorded the largest decrease in dollar terms, down $50 million or 12%. Queensland, as a location of expenditure, recorded the largest dollar increase in GOVERD between 2014-15 and 2016-17, up $18 million (4%).

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  1. For a definition of location, see Methodology
     

GOVERD and Gross state product (GSP)

In 2016-17, the Australian Capital Territory had the largest decrease in GOVERD as a proportion of GSP (0.26%).

GOVERD, by location of expenditure - proportion of GSP(a)

 NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACT
%%%%%%%%
2014-15        
 Commonwealth
0.08
0.15
0.09
0.30
0.06
0.45
0.18
1.20
 State
0.05
0.07
0.09
0.12
0.05
0.01
0.12
0.06
 Total(b)
0.12
0.22
0.18
0.42
0.11
0.46
0.31
1.26
2016-17        
 Commonwealth
0.06
0.13
0.07
0.32
0.05
0.43
0.14
0.96
 State
0.05
0.06
0.09
0.10
0.06
0.00
0.16
0.04
 Total(b)
0.11
0.19
0.16
0.42
0.11
0.43
0.30
1.00
a. See Methodology for details.
b. Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the component items and totals.
 

Type of activity

In 2016-17, 56% of GOVERD ($1,831 million) was directed to Applied research, 26% ($866 million) to Strategic basic research and 14% ($460 million) to Experimental development. The remaining 4% ($122 million) was directed towards Pure basic research.

Pure basic research recorded the largest dollar decrease of $50 million (29%), followed by Applied research down $47 million (3%) and Strategic basic research, down $22 million (3%) from 2014-15. Experimental development recorded the only increase in 2016-17, up $69 million (18%).

Fields of research (FOR)

The Fields of Research accounting for the largest amount of GOVERD expenditure in 2016-17 were Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, $574 million (18%); Medical and Health Sciences, $502 million (15%); Engineering, $494 million (15%) and Biological Sciences, $310 million (9%). Together, these four Fields of Research accounted for over half (57%) of total GOVERD for 2016-17.

Socio-economic objective (SEO)

The four Socio-economic Objectives attracting the most expenditure in 2016-17 were Health, $593 million (18%); Defence, $557 million (17%); Environment, $519 million (16%); and Plant Production and Plant Primary Products, $417 million (13%). In 2016-17, the top four Socio-economic Objectives remained the same as in 2014-15 and accounted for almost two thirds (64%) of total GOVERD.

Government human resources devoted to R&D

In 2016-17, human resources devoted to R&D by Australian government organisations totalled 14,773 person years of effort (PYE). Commonwealth government comprised 8,000 PYE (54%) of total PYE and State and territory government comprised 6,773 PYE (46%).

Government human resources devoted to R&D, by type of resource

 COMMONWEALTHSTATE/TERRITORYTOTAL(a)
2014-152016-172014-152016-172014-152016-17
PYEPYEPYEPYEPYEPYE
Researchers
4 594
4 501
3 044
2 982
7 637
7 483
Technicians
2 416
2 168
2 254
2 345
4 671
4 512
Other staff
1 433
1 331
975
1 446
2 407
2 777
Total human resources devoted to R&D(a)
8 443
8 000
6 273
6 773
14 715
14 773
a. Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the component items and totals.
 


In 2016-17, government human resources devoted to R&D increased 58 PYE (0.4%) from 14,715 PYE in 2014-15. The increase was due to increases in PYE for Other staff, up 370 PYE (15%).

Researchers remained the largest type of resource in 2016-17, accounting for 51% of total government human resources devoted to R&D.

Private non-profit resources devoted to research and experimental development (R&D)

Expenditure on R&D performed by Australian private non-profit (PNP) organisations during the 2016-17 financial year was $1,040 million.

Between 2014-15 and 2016-17, private non-profit expenditure on R&D (PNPERD) increased by 3% in current price terms and 1% in chain volume terms.

Private non-profit resources devoted to R&D

   2006-072008-092011-122012-132014-152016-17
Expenditure on R&D       
 Current prices$m
609
744
944
961
1 007
1 040
 Chain volume measures(a)$m
786
866
1 009
1 000
1 031
1 040
Human resources devoted to R&DPYE
4 575
4 788
5 256
5 678
6 019
6 178
a. The reference year for chain volume measures is 2016-17. See Methodology for details.
 


Subsequent expenditure figures and supporting commentary relate to current price terms.

In 2016-17, PNPERD increase of $33 million (3%) was largely driven by Labour costs which increased by $31 million (6%) from 2014-15.

Private non-profit expenditure on R&D, summary statistics

 2014-152016-17
$m$m
Type of expenditure  
 Capital expenditure  
  Land, buildings and other structures
19
15
  Other capital expenditure
34
36
  Total(a)
53
51
 Current expenditure  
  Labour costs
540
571
  Other current expenditure
413
417
  Total(a)
954
989
Total expenditure on R&D(a)
1 007
1 040
a. Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the component items and totals.
 

PNPERD and Gross domestic product (GDP)

PNPERD as a proportion of GDP decreased slightly from 0.062% in 2014-15 to 0.059% in 2016-17.

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  1. See Methodology for details.
     

Private non-profit expenditure on R&D (PNPERD)

Type of expenditure

In 2016-17, PNPERD included $989 million (95%) in total Current expenditure and $51 million (5%) in total Capital expenditure. The largest component of PNPERD in 2016-17 was Labour costs, at $571 million (55% of PNPERD); followed by Other current expenditure, at $417 million (40% of PNPERD).

Source of funds

In 2016-17, Commonwealth government funds was the largest contributing Source of funds to total PNPERD, at $384 million (37% of total PNPERD), followed by Own funds, at $244 million (23% of total PNPERD).

Of all sources of funds, Private non-profit funding recorded the largest dollar increase from 2014-15, up $24 million (24%). This was followed by Own funds, up $14 million (6%) in 2016-17, and Other state and local government funds, up $11 million (12%). Donations and bequests recorded the largest dollar decrease, down $12 million (22%) between 2014-15 and 2016-17.

Location of expenditure

Location of expenditure relates to the region in which R&D activity was performed; see Methodology for details.

In 2016-17, Victoria ($515 million) and New South Wales ($331 million) together accounted for 81% of total PNPERD. Victoria, up $29 million (6%) and Queensland, up $9 million (21%) recorded the largest dollar increases in PNPERD from 2014-15. South Australia recorded the largest dollar decrease, down $8 million (25%) between 2014-15 and 2016-17.

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  1. Ranked by 2016-17 PNPERD. For a definition of location, see Methodology.
     

PNPERD and Gross state product (GSP)

In 2016-17, PNPERD as a proportion of GSP was highest for Victoria at 0.13%.

PNPERD, by location of expenditure - proportion of GSP(a)

 NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACT
%%%%%%%%
2014-15
0.06
0.13
0.01
0.03
0.03
-
0.03
0.02
2016-17
0.06
0.13
0.02
0.02
0.03
np
np
0.02
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells).
np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated.
a. See Methodology for details.

Type of activity

In 2016-17, over three quarters of PNPERD was directed towards Strategic basic research, at $438 million (42% of total PNPERD) and Applied research, at $370 million (36% of total PNPERD). The remaining expenditure was directed towards Experimental development, at $193 million (19%) and Pure basic research, at $39 million (4%).

Compared to 2014-15, Strategic basic research recorded the largest dollar increase, up $77 million (21%). Pure basic research recorded the largest dollar and percentage decrease down $42 million (52%) from 2014-15. The distribution of PNPERD across Type of activity remained largely unchanged in 2016-17, with Strategic basic research and Applied research representing the largest proportion of total PNPERD (78%).

Fields of research (FOR)

Medical and Health Sciences, at $897 million, remained the largest Field of Research for PNP organisations in 2016-17, accounting for more than three quarters (86%) of total PNPERD. The next largest Field of Research was Education, which accounted for $39 million (4%) of total PNPERD.

The largest dollar increase in PNPERD in 2016-17 was recorded by Medical and Health Sciences, up $109 million (14%).

Socio-economic objective (SEO)

The majority of PNPERD (90%) was directed to the Socio-economic Objective of Health ($932 million) in 2016-17. Education and Training was the next largest Socio-economic Objective, with $41 million (4%) of total PNPERD, despite recording the largest dollar decrease of $24 million (37%) from 2014-15.

Health, up $72 million (8%) and Animal Production and Animal Primary Products, up $3 million (32%) recorded the largest dollar increases among Socio-economic Objectives between 2014-15 and 2016-17.

Along with Education and Training, down $24 million (37%), Environment also recorded a large decrease, down $17 million (71%), the second largest dollar decrease since 2014-15.

Private non-profit human resources devoted to R&D

In 2016-17, human resources devoted to R&D by PNP organisations totalled 6,178 person years of effort (PYE). This was an increase of 160 PYE (3%) from 2014-15.

Private non-profit human resources devoted to R&D, by type of resources

 2014-152016-17
PYEPYE
Researchers
3 800
3 980
Technicians
1 230
1 145
Other staff
989
1 054
Total human resource devoted to R&D(a)
6 019
6 178
a. Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the component items and totals.
 


Researchers and Other staff increased 180 PYE (5%) and 65 PYE (7%) respectively. Technicians decreased 85 PYE (7%). Researchers remained the largest type of resource in 2016-17, accounting for 64% of total human resources devoted to R&D by PNP organisations.

Data downloads

Government expenditure on R&D, summary statistics, 2016-17

Government expenditure on R&D, by fields of research, 2016-17

Government expenditure on R&D, by socio-economic objective, 2016-17

Government human resources devoted to R&D, by type of resource, 2016-17

Private non-profit expenditure on R&D, summary statistics, 2016-17

Private non-profit expenditure on R&D, by fields of research, 2016-17

Private non-profit expenditure on R&D, by socio-economic objective, 2016-17

Private non-profit expenditure on R&D, by employment size, 2016-17

Private non-profit human resources devoted to R&D, by type of resource, 2016-17

Private non-profit human resources devoted to R&D, by employment size, 2016-17

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8109.0.