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Outline

1. Objective of the Survey of Research and Development

The survey is designed to provide basic materials for promoting science and technology in Japan, by studying the research and development (R&D) activities actually carried out in Japan.

2. Legal basis of the survey

The survey is conducted for the purpose of preparing "Fundamental Statistics" pursuant to the Statistics Act (Act No.53 of 2007).

With regard to conducting the survey, "Regulation of the Survey of Research and Development" (Prime Minister's Order No. 33 of 1981) was enacted.

3. History of the survey

The survey was initiated in August 1953 as the "Basic Statistical Survey of Research Institutions" (Designated Statistics No. 61), and renamed the present "Survey of Research and Development" in March 1960 with an extension of the coverage and a change in statistical units in the business sector.

Later, in 2002, the Survey was revised extensively, with revisions including an expansion of the covered industries and changes in the sampling design and the survey items. This revision was to make the survey compatible with the environmental change of the R&D activities in recent years as the advancement of such activities conducted in non-manufacturing industries and globalization of enterprises' R&D activities.

In the 2008 survey, the form of the result tables was revised based on the revision of the Japan Standard Industrial Classification (Rev. 12, November 2007).

4. Survey date

The latest data on personnel and capital were surveyed as of March 31, 2016, while financial statistics such as sales and R&D expenditure were reported for the fiscal year ending on the latest settling day prior to March 31, 2016.

5. Coverage and the statistical unit

The survey covers business enterprises, non-profit institutions and public organizations, and universities and colleges as the following statistical units.

(1) Business enterprises

Enterprises

(2) Non-profit institutions and public organizations

Corporations, research institutions

(3) Universities and colleges

Faculties of universities and facilities (including postgraduate courses), organizations for junior colleges, technical colleges, research institutes attached to universities, inter-university research institute corporations and the National Institute of Technology.


6. Survey items

The following data are collected through three questionnaires: Questionnaire A for business enterprises, Questionnaire B for non-profit institutions and public organizations, and Questionnaire C for universities and colleges. Among business enterprises, Questionnaire A-I is used for those with capital of 100 million yen or more and Questionnaire A-II is used for those with capital of less than 100 million yen.

(1) Questionnaire A-I (for business enterprises)

  1. Name
  2. Location
  3. Present status of the business enterprise
  4. Total number of persons employed
  5. Capital
  6. Sales
  7. Technology balance of payments
  8. Countries or territories and distinction or origin in technology exports and imports and their amounts
  9. "Yes" or "no" on R&D activities
  10. Number of persons employed in R&D (researchers, assistant research workers, technicians, clerical and other supporting personnel, and researchers with Ph.D.'s)
  11. Number of researchers who joined or left the business enterprise
  12. Number of researchers by specialty (20 specialties)
  13. Intramural expenditure on R&D including labour costs, materials, expenditure on tangible fixed assets, expenditure on intangible fixed assets, lease fees, other expenses and depreciation of tangible fixed assets
  14. Expenditure on R&D by type of activity (basic research, applied research and development)
  15. Expenditure on R&D by product and service field (31 categories)
  16. Expenditure on R&D by selected objective (a. recovery and reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, promotion of green innovation and promotion of life innovation; b. life sciences, information technology, environmental science and technology, materials, nanotechnology, energy, space exploration and oceanology)
  17. R&D funds received from public organizations, companies, private universities, nonprofit institutions and overseas institutions
  18. R&D funds paid outside to public organizations, companies, private universities, nonprofit institutions and overseas institutions

(2) Questionnaire A-II (for business enterprises)

1-14 are the same as those in Questionnaire A-I.

15 is the same as 17 in Questionnaire A-I.

16 is the same as 18 in Questionnaire A-I.

(3) Questionnaire B (for non-profit institutions and public organizations)

  1. Name
  2. Location
  3. "Yes" or "no" on R&D activities
  4. Total number of persons employed
  5. Total expenditure
  6. Description of main operations and R&D activities
  7. Names and locations of branches
  8. Field of science of the main R&D activity (11 categories)
  9. Number of persons employed in R&D (same as in Questionnaire A-I)
  10. Number of researchers who joined or left the organization
  11. Number of researchers by specialty (26 specialties)
  12. Intramural expenditure on R&D including labour costs, materials, expenditure on tangible fixed assets, expenditure on intangible fixed assets, lease fees and other expenses
  13. Expenditure on R&D by type of activity (same as in Questionnaire A-I)
  14. Expenditure on R&D by selected objective (same as in Questionnaire A-I)
  15. R&D funds received (same as in Questionnaire A-I)
  16. R&D funds paid outside (same as in Questionnaire A-I)

(4) Questionnaire C (for universities and colleges)

  1. Name
  2. Location
  3. Type of universities and colleges (university faculty, junior college, technical college, research institute attached to the university, inter-university research institute corporations and others)
  4. Names and locations of branches
  5. Field of science of the main R&D activity (12 categories)
  6. Number of persons employed in R&D (regular researchers, including teachers, doctoral students, medical staff members and others; external non-regular researchers, assistant research workers, technicians, and clerical and other supporting personnel), and non-R&D personnel and researchers with Ph.D.'s
  7. Number of researchers who joined or left the institution
  8. Number of regular researchers by specialty (44 specialties)
  9. Total expenditure
  10. Intramural expenditure on R&D (same as in Questionnaire B)
  11. Expenditure on R&D by type of activity (same as in Questionnaire A-I)
  12. Expenditure on R&D by selected objective (same as in Questionnaire A-I)
  13. R&D funds received (same as in Questionnaire A-I)
  14. R&D funds paid outside (same as in Questionnaire A-I)

7. Survey method

Questionnaires are mailed to sample respondents through a company entrusted by the Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The filled-in questionnaires are returned directly to the Bureau via mail or the Internet.

8. Sampling

(1) The business enterprises were divided into strata based on the existence of research activities (yes or no: 2 categories), capital (4 classes), and industries (40 categories), using the roster created based on the results of the 2012 Economic Census for Business Activity and the previous survey of R&D. The prescribed number of business enterprises was selected from each stratum.

(2) The non-profit institutions and public organizations were surveyed using a list prepared based on reports from central and local governments.

(3) All universities and colleges in Japan were surveyed using the list compiled with materials from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

9. Number of samples and response ratio

The latest survey covered approx. 13,500 business enterprises, approx. 1,100 non-profit institutions and public organizations, and approx. 3,700 universities and colleges, for a total of approx. 18,300. The response ratio was approx. 87% (approx. 82% of the business enterprises, approx. 99% of the non-profit institutions and public organizations, and 100% of the universities and colleges).

10. Estimation method

The estimation method for the figures for business enterprises is a ratio estimation with a benchmark of the business enterprises by capital, industry and performance of R&D (2 categories: performing R&D, and not performing R&D) in the previous survey estimated from the 2012 Economic Census for Business Activity.

11. Tabulation and publication

The completed questionnaires of the 2016 Survey of Research and Development were processed by the National Statistics Center, an incorporated administrative agency. The major tabulation points are as follows:

-Items related to expenditure on R&D
-Items related to the number of persons employed in R&D
-Items related to the international exchange of technology

The Statistics Bureau released the 2016 survey results on December 16, 2016.

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