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

Australia, Police


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.