Higher Education R&D Expenditure Rebounds in 2022, Biomedical and Clinical Sciences Lead the Way

Australia, Police

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According to the latest data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Higher Education Expenditure on Research and Development (HERD) has shown significant growth in 2022, reaching $14 billion.

This represents a 10 percent increase from 2020.

The surge in spending can largely be attributed to the recovery from the disruptions caused by COVID-19 restrictions, as well as rising costs of materials and labor for R&D projects.

Notably, there has been a decline in higher education spending as a share of GDP, dropping from 0.

While this may appear to be a small decrease, it marks the largest two-year decline in the sector since the ABS began collecting this data in 1992.

This decline in the share of GDP equates to a $2 billion reduction in spending.

Among the fields of research, the Biomedical and Clinical Sciences experienced the most substantial increase in R&D expenditure, rising by $429 million (15 percent).

Health sciences followed closely behind with a growth of $286 million (23 percent) since 2020.

The ABS head of business statistics, Robert Ewing, noted that the growth in R&D spending was primarily driven by research within the Biomedical and Clinical Sciences and Health Sciences fields.

This emphasis on health-related R&D aligns with the country’s pursuit of becoming a leader in this area and achieving greater self-sufficiency, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In terms of geographical distribution, universities in Victoria and New South Wales (NSW) experienced the highest growth in R&D spending, with increases of 15 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

Together, these two states accounted for 61 percent of total R&D expenditure across Australian universities, expanding their share from 59 percent in 2020.

The growth in Higher Education Expenditure on R&D reflects a positive trend in Australia’s commitment to research and development, particularly in the health sciences.

As the nation continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic, this investment in R&D is crucial for driving innovation and ensuring a prosperous future.

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