1377.0 - Measures of a knowledge-based economy and society, Australia, 2003  
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Contents >> Innovation and Entrepreneurship Indicators >> Expenditure on basic research by sector of performance (business, government, private non-profit, higher education)

CHARACTERISTIC: RESEARCH BASE AND POTENTIAL FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION

INDICATOR: Expenditure on basic research by sector of performance (business, government, private non-profit, higher education)

Expenditure on pure basic research in 2002-03 was up $181m from 2000-01, while expenditure on strategic basic research was up $274m.


PURE BASIC RESEARCH and STRATEGIC BASIC RESEARCH BY SECTOR


2000-01
2002-03
Pure Basic Research
$'000
$'000

Business
38,227
49,857
Government
Commonwealth
71,166
99,014
State/territory
38,164
53,213

Higher Education
837,370
975,286
Private non-profit
74,178
62,692

Total

1,059,105

1,240,062

2000-01
2002-03
Strategic Basic Research
$'000
$'000

Business
288,247
348,544
Government
Commonwealth
429,039
471,025
State/territory
121,858
131,482

Higher Education
666,144
802,881
Private non-profit
124,456
150,155

Total

1,629,744

1,904,087

Source: ABS Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary, Australia (cat. no. 8112.0).


STATISTICAL NOTES

The Australian Standard Research Classification
The Australian Standard Research Classification (ASRC) is the collective name for a set of three related classifications developed for use in the measurement and analysis of research and experimental development (R&D) undertaken in Australia, both in the public and private sectors.

R&D
R&D is defined in accordance with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) standard as comprising 'creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications'.

R&D activity
Type of R&D activity comprises pure basic research, strategic basic research, applied research and experimental development. Data in this classification are subjectively allocated by respondents at the time of reporting, using OECD/ABS definitions. The ABS makes every effort to ensure correct and consistent interpretation and reporting of these data and applies consistent processing methodologies. Analysts using this classification should bear the original subjectivity in mind. For a more comprehensive interpretation of the definition of R&D activity, contact the ABS or refer to the OECD publication The Measurement of Scientific and Technical Activities (Frascati Manual 2002), OECD, Paris, 2003.

R&D surveys
The R&D Business survey is conducted annually and collects estimates of Research and Experimental Development expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D by businesses in Australia.
The R&D Higher Education survey is conducted biennially and collects estimates of Research and Experimental Development expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D by higher education organisations in Australia.
The R&D General government survey is conducted biennially and collects estimates of Research and Experimental Development expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D by government organisations in Australia.
The R&D Private non-profit sector survey is conducted biennially and collects estimates of Research and Experimental Development expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D by private non-profit organisations in Australia.

Basic research
Experimental and theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge without a specific application in view. It consists of pure basic research and strategic basic research. Pure basic research is carried out without looking for long-term benefits other than the advancement of knowledge. Strategic basic research is directed into specified broad areas in the expectation of useful discoveries. It provides the broad base of knowledge for the solution of recognised practical problems.

Sectors:
The sector classification used in the compilation of R&D statistics is adapted from the guidelines specified by the OECD for use in the conduct of R&D surveys.

Business sector
This sector includes all businesses whose primary activity is the production of goods or services for sale to the general public at a price intended to cover at least the cost of production, and the private non-profit institutions mainly serving them. The Business sector for the R&D survey excludes businesses mainly engaged in Agriculture, forestry, and fishing (i.e. industries in Division A of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0)), partly because of collection difficulties and partly because such businesses are believed to have very low R&D activity (agricultural R&D activity is generally carried out by specialised research institutes not included in ANZSIC Division A).

Government sector
This sector includes all Commonwealth, state and local government departments and authorities. The Government sector for the R&D survey excludes local government organisations because it is considered that their contribution to total R&D activity would be minimal. Public sector organisations mainly engaged in higher education (e.g. universities) are included in the Higher education sector whilst those mainly engaged in trading or financial activities are included in the Business sector.

Higher education sector
This sector includes all universities and other institutions of post-secondary education whatever their source of finance or legal status. The Higher education sector for the R&D survey excludes non-university post-secondary education institutions (e.g. Technical and Further Education colleges) because it is considered that their contribution to total R&D activity would be minimal.

Private non-profit sector
This sector includes private or semi-public incorporated organisations which are established with the intention of operating without making a profit.

INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS

BASIC RESEARCH EXPENDITURES, 1981-2001 or latest year available

As a percentage of R&D

1981
1984

1985
1986
1989

1990
1993
1994

1995
1998
1999
2000

2001

Australia
34.7
31.8
28.2
27.2
26.5
25.9
France
19.9
20.3
22.1
24.2

23.6
Germany
19.0
16.7
17.1
18.7
Ireland
10.3
11.7
(a)7.2
10.3
Japan
(b)12.2
(b)11.7
(b)12.2
(b)14.2
12.4
12.2
Netherlands
(a)14.6
(a)13.5
(a)9.5
Sweden
(a) (c)22.9
(c)20.4
(c)20.8
United States of America
13.7
13.0
15.1
15.9
(d)18.1
20.9


(a) Break in the series.
(b) Overestimated or based on overestimated data.
(c) Underestimated or based on underestimated data.
(d) Provisional.
Source: R&D database, May 2003, OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2003 (
http://www.oecd.org).


BASIC RESEARCH EXPENDITURES, 1981-2001 or latest year available

As a percentage of GDP

1981
1984

1985
1986
1989

1990
1993
1994

1995
1998
1999
2000

2001

Australia
0.33
0.34
0.37
0.43
0.40
0.40
France
0.44
0.48
0.51
0.54
0.53
0.51
0.52
Germany
0.47
0.46
0.49
0.44
Ireland
0.07
0.09
(a)0.06
0.12
0.15
0.15
0.14
Japan
(b)0.28
(b)0.32
(b)0.35
(b)0.41
0.35
0.36
0.37
0.37
Netherlands
(a)0.29
(a)0.28
(a)0.19
Sweden
(a)(c)
0.51
(c)0.57
(c)0.59
United States of America
0.32
0.36
0.40
0.40
0.40
0.42
0.43
0.47

(a) Break in the series.
(b) Overestimated or based on overestimated data.
(c) Underestimated or based on underestimated data.
Source: MSTI database 2004/1and R&D database, May 2004,
OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2004 (http://www.oecd.org).



STATISTICAL NOTES

International comparability
Though all OECD countries generally collect and report in line with The Measurement of Scientific and Technological Activities: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys of Research and Experimental Development - Frascati Manual 2002 (OECD), some detailed national specifications may vary from OECD standards. These differences are generally too small to affect the general indicators.


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