Australia’s Business R&D Spending Aligns with Growing Economy

Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveals that Business Expenditure on Research & Development (R&D) for the financial year 2021-22 reached $20,642 million, indicating a significant 14 percent increase compared to the figures from 2019-20.

Robert Ewing, the Head of Business Statistics at ABS, highlighted the significance of this release: “Today’s data equips governments and researchers with insights into the scale and nature of business R&D expenditure. This information contributes to the formulation of policies and strategies that facilitate research activities within businesses.”

Despite the substantial surge in Business R&D spending during the 2021-22 period, the proportion of R&D spending in relation to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has remained stable at 0.9 percent since 2017-18.

In terms of industry distribution, the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services sector led with 34 percent of R&D expenditure, totaling $6,972 million. Following closely was the Manufacturing industry, contributing 25 percent ($5,203 million), and the Financial and Insurance Services sector at 15 percent ($3,072 million).

The data also sheds light on business R&D expenditure categorized by fields of research. Notably, Information and Computing Sciences, Engineering, and Biomedical and Clinical Sciences accounted for a combined 78 percent of the total R&D business expenditure.

Robert Ewing elaborated on these findings, stating, “Within the 2021-22 period, remarkable growth in R&D spending was witnessed in the fields of Information and Computing Sciences, which rose by 12 percent to $7,927 million, and Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, which increased by 35 percent to $2,949 million.”