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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
2018 - 2019

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

  • Expenditure on R&D performed by Australian government organisations during the 2018-19 financial year was $3,330 million.
  • Commonwealth government organisations contributed $2,110 million (63%), and state and territory government organisations contributed $1,219 million (37%), to total government expenditure on R&D (GOVERD).
  • R&D expenditure by Commonwealth government organisations decreased $29 million (1%), while R&D expenditure by State and territory government organisations increased $80 million (7%) compared to 2016-17.
  • GOVERD increased 2% in current price terms and remained unchanged in chain volume terms between 2016-17 and 2018-19.
  • GOVERD as a proportion of GDP decreased from 0.19% in 2016-17 to 0.17% in 2018-19.
     

Government resources devoted to R&D

   2008-092011-122012-132014-152016-172018-19
Expenditure on R&D - Current prices
 Commonwealth$m
2 252
2 426
2 345
2 257
2 139
2 110
 State/territory$m
1 169
1 123
1 381
1 072
1 140
1 219
 Total(a)$m
3 420
3 549
3 725
3 329
3 279
3 330
Expenditure on R&D - Chain volume measures(b)
 Commonwealth$m
2 793
2 800
2 594
2 347
2 172
2 110
 State/territory$m
1 450
1 296
1 528
1 114
1 158
1 219
 Total(a)$m
4 243
4 096
4 123
3 461
3 330
3 330
Human resources devoted to R&D
 CommonwealthPYE
9 209
9 800
9 820
8 443
8 000
7 763
 State/territoryPYE
7 834
6 889
6 561
6 273
6 773
6 758
 Total(a)PYE
17 042
16 689
16 381
14 715
14 773
14 521
a. Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the component items and totals.
b. The reference year for chain volume measures is 2018-19. See Methodology for details.
 


Expenditure figures and supporting commentary below are presented in current price values.

Government expenditure on R&D (GOVERD)

Type of expenditure

  • GOVERD included $3,068 million (92%) in Current expenditure and $262 million (8%) in Capital expenditure. Compared with 2016-17, Current expenditure increased $72 million (2%) and Capital expenditure decreased $21 million (7%).
  • The largest component of GOVERD was Labour costs, at $1,940 million (58%), followed by Other current expenditure, which includes all other non-staff expenditure, at $1,128 million (34%). Compared with 2016-17, Labour costs increased $48 million (3%) and Other current expenditure increased by $24 million (2%).
     

Source of funds

  • The two main sources of funds for GOVERD were Own funds ($2,180 million or 65% of GOVERD) and Other Commonwealth government funding ($397 million or 12% of GOVERD).
  • Other Commonwealth government recorded the largest dollar increase of $73 million (23%) between 2016-17 and 2018-19, followed by Business, up $27 million (17%).
     

Location

Location of expenditure relates to the region in which R&D activity was performed. Please refer to the Location of R&D section of the Methodology for further information.

  • Victoria ($803 million), New South Wales ($658 million) and Queensland ($616 million) accounted for over half (62%) of total GOVERD.
  • Between 2016-17 and 2018-19, Queensland recorded the largest increase in dollar terms, up $78 million (14%). The Australian Capital Territory recorded the largest dollar decrease, down $42 million (11%).
     
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GOVERD and Gross State Product (GSP)

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

 NSW
%
Vic.
%
Qld
%
SA
%
WA
%
Tas.
%
NT
%
ACT
%
2016-17        
 Commonwealth
0.06
0.13
0.07
0.32
0.05
0.42
0.14
0.97
 State
0.05
0.06
0.09
0.10
0.06
0.00
0.17
0.04
 Total(b)
0.11
0.19
0.16
0.42
0.11
0.43
0.31
1.01
2018-19        
 Commonwealth
0.05
0.12
0.07
0.31
0.05
0.44
0.13
0.79
 State
0.06
0.06
0.10
0.10
0.04
0.01
0.09
0.02
 Total(b)
0.11
0.18
0.17
0.41
0.09
0.45
0.23
0.81
a. Refer to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross State Product (GSP) section of the Methodology page for details.
b. Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the component items and totals.

 

Type of activity

  • The largest component of Type of activity was Applied research totalling $1,835 million (55% of GOVERD) followed by Strategic basic research at $840 million (25%), Experimental development at $520 million (16%) and Pure basic research at $135 million (4%).
  • Between 2016-17 and 2018-19, Experimental development recorded the largest dollar increase of $60 million (13%).
     

Fields of Research (FOR)

  • The top three Fields of Research, in terms of expenditure, remained unchanged from 2016-17. Medical and Health Sciences ($640 million), Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences ($558 million) and Engineering ($521 million) accounted for over half (52%) of total GOVERD.
  • Medical and Health Sciences recorded the largest dollar increase of $138 million (28%), between 2016-17 and 2018-19.
     

Socio-economic Objective (SEO)

  • Health ($726 million or 22%) remained the largest component of GOVERD by Socio-economic Objective, followed by Environment ($521 million or 16%).
  • Between 2016-17 and 2018-19, Health recorded the largest dollar increase of $133 million (22%).
     

Government human resources devoted to R&D

  • Australian government organisations devoted a total of 14,521 person years of effort (PYE) to R&D, a decrease of 252 PYE (2%) from 2016-17.
  • Researchers accounted for the majority of human resources effort devoted to R&D in 2018-19, totalling 7,570 PYE (52%) and showing an increase of 86 PYE (1%).
  • Decreases in PYE were seen for Technicians (down 207 PYE or 5%) and Other staff (down 131 PYE or 5%).

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 2018-19 financial year was $1,269 million.
  • Private non-profit expenditure on R&D (PNPERD) increased by 22% in current price terms and 20% in chain volume terms between 2016-17 and 2018-19.
  • PNPERD as a proportion of GDP increased from 0.06% in 2016-17 to 0.07% in 2018-19.
     

Private non-profit resources devoted to R&D

 2008-092011-122012-132014-152016-172018-19
Expenditure on R&D
 Current prices$m
744
944
961
1 007
1 040
1 269
 Chain volume measures(a)$m
881
1 027
1 017
1 049
1 058
1 269
Human resources devoted to R&DPYE
4 788
5 256
5 678
6 019
6 178
7 205
a. The reference year for chain volume measures is 2018-19. See Methodology for details.
 


Expenditure figures and supporting commentary below are presented in current price values.

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

Type of expenditure

  • PNPERD included $1,205 million (95%) in Current expenditure and $64 million (5%) in Capital expenditure. Compared with 2016-17, Current expenditure increased $216 million (22%) and Capital expenditure increased $13 million (26%).
  • The largest component of PNPERD was Labour costs, at $691 million (54%), followed by Other current expenditure, which includes all other non-staff expenditure, at $514 million (41%). Labour costs recorded the largest increase in PNPERD, up $119 million (21%) from 2016-17.
     

Source of funds

  • The two main sources of funds for PNPERD were Commonwealth government funds ($432 million or 34% of PNPERD) and Own funds ($283 million or 22% of PNPERD).
  • Commonwealth government funding recorded the largest dollar increase between 2016-17 and 2018-19, up $47 million (12%). This was followed by Donations and bequests, up $44 million (99%).
     

Location

Location of expenditure relates to the region in which R&D activity was performed. Please refer to the Location of R&D section of the Methodology page for further information.

  • Victoria ($574 million) and New South Wales ($441 million) accounted for 80% of PNPERD.
  • Between 2016-17 and 2018-19, New South Wales recorded the largest increase in dollar terms up $110 million (33%), followed by Victoria up $58 million (11%).
     
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PNPERD and Gross State Product (GSP)

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

 NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACT
 %%%%%%%%
2016-17
0.06
0.13
0.02
0.02
0.03
-
0.02
0.02
2018-19
0.07
0.13
0.02
np
0.03
0.01
np
0.01
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells).
np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated.
a. Refer to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross State Product (GSP) section of the Methodology page for details.

 

Type of activity

  • The largest component of Type of activity was Applied research totalling $488 million (38% of PNPERD), followed by Strategic basic research, at $466 million (37%), Experimental development at $271 million (21%) and Pure basic research at $45 million (4%).
  • Between 2016-17 and 2018-19, Applied research recorded the largest increase in dollar terms, up $118 million (32%).
     

Fields of Research (FOR)

  • Medical and Health Sciences, at $1,074 million remained the largest Field of Research accounting for three quarters (85%) of total PNPERD.
  • Medical and Health Sciences recorded the largest dollar increase of $177 million (20%) between 2016-17 and 2018-19.
     

Socio-economic Objective (SEO)

  • The majority of PNPERD (88%) was directed to the Socio-economic Objective of Health ($1,118 million) in 2018-19, followed by Education and Training ($39 million or 3%).
  • Between 2016-17 and 2018-19, Health recorded the largest dollar increase, up $186 million (20%).
     

Private non-profit human resources devoted to R&D

  • Australian non-profit organisations devoted a total of 7,205 person years of effort (PYE) to R&D in 2018-19, an increase of 1,027 PYE (17%) since 2016-17.
  • Researchers accounted for the majority of human resources effort devoted to R&D in 2018-19, totalling 4,703 PYE (65%), followed by Technicians (1,269 PYE or 18%) and Other staff (1,233 or 17%).

Data downloads

Government expenditure on R&D, summary statistics, 2018-19

Government expenditure on R&D, by Fields of Research, 2018-19

Government expenditure on R&D, by Socio-economic Objective, 2018-19

Government human resources devoted to R&D, by type of resource, 2018-19

Private non-profit expenditure on R&D, summary statistics, 2018-19

Private non-profit expenditure on R&D, by Fields of Research, 2018-19

Private non-profit expenditure on R&D, by Socio-economic Objective, 2018-19

Private non-profit expenditure on R&D, by employment size, 2018-19

Private non-profit human resources devoted to R&D, by type of resource, 2018-19

Private non-profit human resources devoted to R&D, by employment size, 2018-19

Survey material

To view the Survey of Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations 2018-19 (RDGS) click here
To view the Survey of Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations 2018-19 (RDPS) click here