R&D - Research and development expenditure by sector and purpose 2008–2020

Stats NZ


Research and development (R&D): R&D performed by enterprises are generally investigative work that is of actual or potential use in the development of new or enhanced materials, products, devices, processes, or services. R&D directed towards duplicating work already developed by others is only included if the knowledge or technology required for the development is not available to the enterprise.
Purpose of research: the sector or area that will ultimately benefit from the results,not the nature of the R&D itself. For example, software specifically developed for a food processing factory would be classified to manufacturing.

For more information



Only businesses that Stats NZ pre-identified as carrying out R&D are included. The business sector includes central and local government-owned trading enterprises.
The government sector excludes central and local government-owned trading enterprises but includes scientific research.
The higher education sector includes 8 universities (and their commercial arms).


Figures exclude GST.

Changes to data collection/processing

In this survey, businesses were asked to report on the last financial year for which information was available as at August 2019. The R&D tax incentive came into effect for the 2019/20 April tax year. Data in this release therefore only reflects a part-year impact of the R&D tax incentive.

In 2019 the survey was conducted for the business sector only.

Data provided by

Stats NZ

Dataset name

Research and Development Survey: Purpose of research and development by sector (Annual-Jun) 2020



How to find the data

At URL provided, select 'Industry sectors > Research and Development survey - RAD > Purpose of research and development by sector (Annual-Jun)'. All variables were selected to create this dataset.

Import & extraction details

File as imported: Research and Development Survey: Purpose of research and development by sector (Annual-Jun) 2020

From the dataset Research and Development Survey: Purpose of research and development by sector (Annual-Jun) 2020, this data was extracted:

  • Rows: 4-16
  • Columns: 2-121
  • Provided: 480 data points

Dataset originally released on:

April 16, 2021

About this dataset

The Research and Development Survey, conducted every two years, is a joint survey with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). The survey measures the level of research and development (R&D) activity, employment, and expenditure by business sector enterprises, government departments, government-owned trading entities, and universities.

Method of collection/Data provider

The R&D Survey is a postal survey consisting of four questionnaires: a business questionnaire, a government questionnaire, a CRI questionnaire, and a higher education (universities) questionnaire. These questionnaires are specifically designed to capture data on R&D from these different organisation types.
Stats NZ requested information for the last financial year within the 12 months ending 30 September.