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Over the ten years to 2006, HERD increased at a two-yearly rate of 26.8% in current price terms and 13.5% in chain volume terms.
Subsequent expenditure figures and supporting commentary relate to current price terms.
Proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
HERD as a proportion of GDP increased from 0.48% in 2004 to 0.52% in 2006.
The following table shows HERD/GDP ratios for selected OECD countries.
Type of expenditure
In 2006, HERD was comprised of $5,045.1 million in Current expenditure and $359.3 million in Capital expenditure. The largest component of HERD in 2006 was Other current expenditure, which totalled $2,533.8 million (46.9% of HERD).
Source of funds
The majority of HERD in 2006 was sourced from General university funds ($3,199.5 million or 59.2% of HERD) and Australian competitive research grants ($979.8 million or 18.1%). These were also the major sources of funds in 2004.
Type of activity
In 2006, 43.3% of HERD ($2,337.6 million) was directed towards Applied research, 27.4% ($1,479.2 million) to Pure basic research and 22.2% ($1,201.5 million) to Strategic basic research. The remaining 7.1% of HERD ($386.1 million) was directed towards Experimental development. The distribution of HERD across type of activity was largely unchanged from 2004. Applied research was the only activity to show an increase in the proportion of HERD from 2004.
HERD devoted to the research fields of Medical and health sciences ($1,454.7 million), Engineering and technology ($594.3 million) and Biological sciences ($560.9 million) made up almost half (48.3%) of total HERD in 2006.
Medical and health sciences was the only research field with a change in relative share of HERD of more than one percentage point, with an increase of 1.7 percentage points from 2004.
Socio-economic objective (SEO)
Almost a third (30.8% or $1,663.0 million) of HERD in 2006 was directed to Health related SEOs. This included the understanding and treatment of clinical diseases and conditions and the provision of public health services.
The next most prevalent SEO was Non-oriented research, which accounted for 17.5% ($945.8 million) of HERD. This included R&D contributing to the general advancement of knowledge without having a specific application.
The proportion of HERD dedicated to Health increased by 2.9 percentage points from 2004, compared to a decrease of 2.5 percentage points for Non-oriented research.
In 2006, almost three quarters (71.5%) of HERD was located in New South Wales ($1,538.7 million), Victoria ($1,404.6 million) and Queensland ($919.3 million).
Between 2004 and 2006, Victoria recorded the largest growth in HERD in both absolute and percentage terms, rising $342.3 million or 32.2%.
Victoria had the highest increase in HERD as a proportion of gross state product (GSP) from 2004. The Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia experienced decreases in their HERD/GSP ratios, while ratios for Tasmania and the Northern Territory remained the same.
HUMAN RESOURCES DEVOTED TO R&D
Australian higher education institutions devoted a total of 58,810 person years of effort (PYE) to R&D in 2006, up 6.5% from 55,204 PYE in 2004. Most of the human resources devoted to R&D in 2006 were Postgraduate students (57.7%) and Academic staff (28.9%), with the remainder being Other staff directly supporting R&D (13.4%).
As with HERD, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland accounted for almost three quarters (74.0%) of total human resources devoted to R&D in 2006.
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