Research and Development: Evidence from Firm Interviews

Research and Development: Evidence from Firm Interviews, is a report of a study undertaken by the Department into changing research and development (R&D) trends in Australia.  The report looks at looks at past, present and future trends and changes in R&D in Australia.  The reports findings are based on interviews conducted with three research groups and 16 high R&D intensity companies.  The companies chosen for the study were of differing sizes, from a variety of industries, including local and foreign-owned multinationals, and were selected based on significant R&D expenditure.  The report was released in 2005.

Most of the companies reported that R&D was critical to them; that competitive pressures and need for product differentiation to maintain a competitive edge was a main reason for undertaking R&D.  However spending on R&D as a percentage of sales varied between industries.  The study also found that most firms used patents, but reasons for doing so varied; Australia's R&D was considered to be of high quality and internationally competitive but technologically emerging countries in our region were seen as potential competitors in the future; and that research institutions were increasingly involved in undertaking research for companies, either as contractors or in collaboration.

The report complemented a Productivity Commission study  Econometric Modelling of R&D and Australia's Productivity which looked at  the changing patterns of R&D and their effects on economic performance.


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