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GOVERNMENT RESOURCES DEVOTED TO RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT (R&D)
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.
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.
(a) See Explanatory Notes 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 Explanatory Notes 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%).
(a) For a definition of location, see Explanatory Notes.
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%).
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%).
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.
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