8104.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2004-05  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/08/2006   
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August 28, 2006
Embargoed 11.30am (AEST)
Australian businesses spend $8.4 billion on R&D

Business spending on research and experimental development (R&D) in Australia has increased for the sixth year in a row, to a total of $8.4 billion during 2004-05, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Businesses in the mining industry reported the largest growth in R&D expenditure, increasing by $227 million or 23%. The major contributors to R&D expenditure were the manufacturing ($3.5 billion or 41%) and property and business services industries ($1.6 billion or 19%).

Expenditure was highest in New South Wales ($3.2 billion) and Victoria ($2.4 billion), while growth since 2003-04 was strongest in Western Australia (up 37% to almost $1.1 billion).

R&D expenditure in 2004-05 was up 7% on the previous year in real terms (and 10% in current prices). Between 2003-04 and 2004-05, business expenditure on R&D as a proportion of GDP increased from 0.91% to 0.95%, continuing a period of growth dating back to a low of 0.64% in 1999-2000. However, Australia remained below the OECD average of 1.53%.

Businesses with 200 or more employees contributed 66% of total R&D expenditure, while businesses with less than five employees contributed 4%.

Further information is in Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2004-05 (cat. no. 8104.0).