04/11/2008 - 14:00

R&D spend on the up for WA: ABS

04/11/2008 - 14:00

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Western Australian businesses spend more on research and development as a proportion of gross state product than business in any other state, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Western Australian businesses spend more on research and development as a proportion of gross state product than business in any other state, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Over the 2007 financial year, WA's business spend on R&D in proportion to its gross state product was 1.37 per cent, up from 1.29 per cent from the previous year. Victoria was not far behind, recording 1.34 per cent over fiscal 2007.

Overall, WA businesses spent $1.9 billion on R&D, nearly double its 2005 financial year figure of just over $1 billion.

As a proportion to the total national R&D spend, WA has markedly increased its share of expenditure since fiscal 2005, growing from 12.6 per cent in that year to 15 per cent in the 2006 financial year and then to 16.1 per cent in the following year.

In comparison New South Wales, the biggest R&D spender nationally, has seen its share decline from 37.3 per cent in the 2005 financial year to 31.7 per cent in fiscal 2007.

Meanwhile Australia's total spend on R&D in fiscal 2007 rose 16.5 per cent from $10.3 billion to $12.04 billion, in current price terms.

In dollar terms, New South Wales recorded the largest absolute growth in R&D, up $428 million or 13 per cent to $3.8 billion, followed by WA with an increase of $382 million or 25 per cent and then Queensland, up $320 million or 24 per cent.

Sector by sector, WA's mining industry was the largest contributor to the state's total R&D expenditure figure, with the then booming industry spending $1.17 billion.

The manufacturing sector was in second place, spending some $357.8 million on R&D while the construction industry spent $49.4 million.

Nationally, the mining sector spent $2.54 billion on research and development, pipped at the post by the manufacturing industry which consumed $3.78 billion, or 31 per cent of total business expenditure on research and development.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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