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Business expenditure on R&D soars to record $10.1 billion.



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21 August, 2007

BUSINESS EXPENDITURE ON R&D SOARS TO RECORD $10.1 BILLION

Business Expenditure on Research and Development (BERD) rose to a record $10.1 billion in 2005-06, the seventh successive year-on-year rise, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said today.

ABS data released today shows BERD in 2005-06 increased 16.6% in current price terms from $8.4 billion in 2004-05.

“Business expenditure on R&D delivers new products, processes and services to the market and drives growth in productivity, so this data is a strong indicator of the health of our economy,” Mr Macfarlane said.

"This is the seventh year-on-year rise in BERD in Australia. As well as reaching a record high, it has also increased to 1.04% of GDP, the first time it has been above the 1.0% mark.

"The rapid increase in BERD in recent years is no accident. The Howard Government has put in place the right economic policies, such as the Backing Australia’s Ability programs, to facilitate and encourage business R&D investment in Australia."

Mr Macfarlane said he expected the strong upward trend in BERD to continue in the years ahead due to the innovation initiatives announced as part of the Howard Government's Industry Statement in May this year.

"I am confident we will see further growth in the next few years due to the recent changes to the 175% R&D Tax Concession, the introduction of Industry Productivity Centres and reforms to venture capital," Mr Macfarlane said.

The largest contributors to BERD by sector were manufacturing (38.6% of BERD); property and business services (17.0% of BERD); and, mining (16.7% of BERD). Of all industries, mining and manufacturing reported the largest absolute growth in BERD from 2004-05, increasing their expenditure by 33% and 12%, respectively.

BERD in Australia figures are collated and published yearly by the ABS.

CMR07-445