The Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS), successor to the Survey of Industrial Research and Development (SIRD), is the primary source of information on research and development expenditures and the R&D workforce of businesses operating in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The survey is conducted annually by the U.S. Census Bureau in accordance with an interagency agreement with the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES).
The survey is administered both to companies known to have performed R&D and to companies with no known history of R&D activity. BRDIS has been designed to provide detailed statistics on global and domestic R&D expenditures of companies located in the United States and also statistics on their R&D employees, intellectual property, technology transfer, and innovation activities.
The survey is sent to a single coordinator within each company, but it is organized into sections that help the coordinator collect specific types of information from different experts (human resources, accounting, R&D managers, etc.) in the company. Foreign-owned companies are instructed to report only for company operations owned by the U.S. subsidiary and, for purposes of the survey, to treat the U.S. subsidiary's foreign owners as if they were unrelated third parties. Response to this annual survey is mandatory and confidential under Title 13 of the United States Code.
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The target population for BRDIS consists of all for-profit companies that have five or more paid employees in the United States, that have at least one establishment that is in business during the survey year and is located in the United States, and that are classified in certain industries based on the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), with a particular focus on those companies that perform R&D in the United States.
The Business Register, a Census Bureau compilation that contains information on more than 3 million establishments with paid employees, serves as the primary input to the sample frame from which the sample is selected. For a given company with more than one establishment, the prior year's annual payroll and employment data for its active establishments are summed to the company level. Companies are excluded from the frame if they are classified in a NAICS industry that is outside the scope of BRDIS or if they have fewer than five employees, based on their prior year's aggregated annual payroll and employment data.
The scope of the 2014 BRDIS is limited to companies that (1) are in business primarily to make a profit; (2) are classified within a specific set of NAICS industries; (3) have five or more paid employees in the United States, based on employment on 12 March 2013; (4) have at least one establishment that is physically located in the United States and is in business at the end of calendar year 2014 (the time at which the Census Bureau finished the 2013 Business Register processing); and (5) are not federally funded research and development centers.
Single-unit company records were extracted from the 2013 Business Register if the company's 2013 payroll was greater than or equal to $250,000 or if the company had at least five paid employees in 2013. Companies were removed from the sample frame if their NAICS codes were designated as Crop Production (NAICS 111), Animal Production (NAICS 112), Postal Service (NAICS 491), Educational Services (NAICS 61), Private Households (NAICS 814), or Public Administration (NAICS 92) or if they were no longer in business or were nonprofits. Companies were also removed from the sample frame if they were not located in the 50 states or the District of Columbia.
Records for active establishments from multiunit companies were extracted from the 2013 Business Register if the given establishment's 2013 payroll was greater than $0 or if the establishment employed at least one person in 2013. Prior to creating records for multiunit companies from these establishments, establishments classified as Postal Service (NAICS 491), Private Households (NAICS 814), or Public Administration (NAICS 92) were removed, as were those that were not physically located in the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia. Unlike single-unit companies, establishments classified as Crop Production (NAICS 111), Animal Production (NAICS 112), or Educational Services (NAICS 61) were not removed during the construction of multiunit company records. From the resulting set of multiunit companies, companies were removed from the sample frame if their payroll was less than $250,000 and they had fewer than five paid employees or if the payroll associated with their nonprofit establishments was greater than the payroll of their for-profit establishments.
For each company on the sample frame, a measure of size was assigned. The measure of size for a given company was based on R&D, if R&D data from the last 5 years were available from (1) BRDIS, (2) online financial databases, (3) the Bureau of Economic Analysis's Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad or Annual Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, (4) the Report of Organization conducted as part of the Company Organization Survey (in years not ending in "2" or "7") or as a supplement to the Economic Census (in years ending in "2" or "7"), or (5) qualified R&D expenses from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For all other companies, the measure of size was based on total annual payroll for 2013 from the Business Register.
Each company was assigned to 1 of 62 industry sampling strata based on the reported business segment in which the company performed the largest amount of total domestic R&D as reported in the prior period (2010–13 BRDIS), if available. If these business segment data were not reported for a given company, assignment is based on the NAICS codes of its establishments in the Census Bureau's Business Register using the following method, with some adjustments made to take into account vertical integration of related business activities within the company. The company was first assigned to the economic sector, defined by a 2-digit NAICS code that accounted for the highest percentage of its aggregated annual payroll. Then the company was assigned to a subsector, defined by a 3-digit NAICS code that accounted for the highest percentage of its annual payroll within the economic sector. Then the company was assigned a 4-digit NAICS code within the subsector, again based on the highest percentage of its aggregated annual payroll within the subsector. Finally, the company was assigned a 6-digit NAICS code within the 4-digit NAICS, based on the highest percentage of its aggregated annual payroll within the 4-digit NAICS. The industry used for sampling purposes was not necessarily the same code used for publication; see the following section "Postsampling Industry Classification."
Each company in an industry sampling stratum was further assigned to one of three R&D groups based on information about its prior domestic R&D activity: (1) companies with a positive value for the measure of size based on R&D (known positive R&D group), (2) companies with a zero value for the measure of size based on R&D (known zero R&D group), and (3) companies with unknown R&D activity (unknown R&D group). For 2014, there were 35,532 companies in the first group, 79,343 companies in the second group, and 1,883,983 companies in the third group, for a total of 1,998,858 companies (appendix table A-1).
In the known positive R&D group, Pareto probability-proportional-to-size (PPS) sampling was used within each noncertainty industry stratum, where the probability of selection was proportional to the company's measure of size. In the unknown R&D group, Pareto PPS sampling was typically used within each industry stratum, though simple random sampling was used for industries in which the number of companies in the sample frame was high and the likelihood of R&D was low. In the known zero R&D group, a single simple random sample was selected across all industry strata. Each sample by group had a certainty and noncertainty portion (appendix table A-2). Companies that exhibited characteristics of large R&D companies, including those with the largest amounts of R&D or annual payroll, were selected for the sample with certainty (i.e., the probability of selection was equal to 1). The probability of selection for other companies in the known positive R&D and unknown R&D groups depended on their size, the number of companies selected, and the total size or number of companies in their industry strata. The number of companies selected was based on a coefficient of variation constraint on the estimated sample total for the industry stratum and was increased, if necessary, to ensure that the minimum probability of selection is 0.05 for the known positive R&D group and one of three values for the unknown R&D group—0.004 or 0.01 for Nonmanufacturing industries (NAICS other than 31–33) and Incomplete manufacturers (Incomplete NAICS beginning with 3), depending on the population size and likelihood of R&D, and 0.02 for Manufacturing (NAICS 31–33); Computer systems design and related services (NAICS 5415); Management, scientific, and technical consulting services (NAICS 5416); and Scientific research and development services (NAICS 5417). Once selected, each company was assigned a sampling weight equal to the reciprocal of its probability of selection for the sample. Companies that were selected for the sample with certainty were assigned sampling weights equal to 1, and companies that were selected using random or Pareto PPS sampling were assigned weights ranging from 1 to 250. A complete and detailed description of the sample design and estimation methodology is given in the annual BRDIS methodology report available from the NCSES project officer.
The estimates produced from BRDIS are subject to both sampling and nonsampling errors. Potential nonsampling errors include coverage error and various response and operational errors, such as errors during data collection, reporting errors, transcription errors, and bias due to nonresponse. These are all types of errors that could also occur if a complete enumeration of the sample frame had been conducted under the same conditions as the sample survey. Most of the important operational errors were detected and corrected during the course of the reviewing data for reasonableness and consistency. Though nonsampling error is not measured directly, quality control procedures were employed throughout the survey process to minimize this type of error.
Sampling error is the difference between estimates obtained from the sample and results theoretically obtainable from a comparable complete enumeration of the sample frame. This error results because only a subset of the sample frame is measured in a sample survey. For published estimates from BRDIS, standard errors are produced for estimated percentages, while relative standard errors (RSEs) are produced for all other estimates. Tables of the estimated measures of sampling variability corresponding to each data table are available from the NCSES project officer.
Standard errors may be used to define confidence intervals about the corresponding estimates with a desired level of confidence. If a confidence interval were constructed for each possible sample that could be selected, then it would be expected that the percentage of confidence intervals containing the result of a complete enumeration of the sample frame would equal the percentage of the level of confidence. For example, the interval defined by a margin of error of two standard errors yields a confidence interval of approximately 95%.
Because relatively few companies perform R&D in the United States and because the amount of R&D they perform is quite variable, it is difficult to achieve control over the sampling error of survey estimates produced from BRDIS. This depends on the correlation between the measure of size on the sample frame that was used to assign the selection probabilities and the actual data that are collected in BRDIS, which cannot be predicted accurately for all companies when the sample is designed. However, the largest companies known to perform R&D are included in the sample with certainty so that these companies will not contribute to the sampling error of the resulting estimates produced from BRDIS.
The sample size is sufficiently large that estimates based on the total sample are subject to low sampling error. However, because priority in designing the sample was given to industries that were identified in previous surveys as conducting large amounts of R&D expenditures, the sampling error may be larger for estimates for the lower-priority industries. The RSE for the estimate of total domestic R&D performed by the company was 0.48% in 2014.
With the above sample design parameters, a total of 44,162 companies were selected, of which 16,959 companies were in the known positive R&D group, 3,861 companies were in the known zero R&D group, and 23,342 companies were in the unknown R&D group (appendix tables A-3 and A-4).
During the survey's annual contact update procedures, 37 large R&D performers from the 2013 sample were found that were not included on the 2014 sample frame. To follow up, records for these companies were added to the 2014 sample with certainty. Because it was expected that many of these records would not contribute to 2014 BRDIS tabulations due to changes in company structure, these companies are not included in sample frame counts or sample sizes (appendix table A-5).
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For the 2014 cycle of BRDIS, two questionnaires were used to collect data for the survey. Companies with domestic R&D performance greater than or equal to $1 million in 2012 or 2013 were sent the standard survey form, BRDI-1. All other companies were sent an abbreviated form, BRDI-1(S) (appendix tables A-6 and A-7). A small number of companies with a history of chronic delinquency were sent the abbreviated form instead of the standard questionnaire. Some companies requested multiple forms to facilitate subcompany reporting (appendix table A-8).
Because of the potential compartmentalization of organizational knowledge within companies (particularly in larger companies), the BRDIS questionnaire was organized into sections based on the subject matter of the questions. These sections included the following:
Section 1. Company Information. Includes basic questions about company ownership, lines of business, sales data, and measures of innovation.
Section 2. Financial Schedule A. Includes accounting questions about the company's R&D expenses and capital expenditures for R&D.
Section 3. Financial Schedule B. Includes accounting questions about R&D paid for by others, such as the company's customers or grant-giving organizations.
Section 4. Management and Strategy of R&D. Includes questions related to the nature of the company's R&D and how the R&D is being performed. This section was targeted toward company employees responsible for managing R&D departments or programs.
Section 5. Human Resources. Includes questions related to the human resources involved in the company's R&D activities.
Section 6. Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer. Includes questions on the company's production, use, acquisition, and disposition of intellectual property related to science and technology, with a focus on patents.
For specific differences among the BRDIS questionnaires, see the "Comparability" section. In addition to paper questionnaires, an electronic mode of data reporting via the U.S. Census Bureau's Centurion data collection instrument was available to all BRDIS respondents. Respondents were made aware of Centurion in BRDIS-related correspondence and transmittals from the Census Bureau. For paper versus electronic response rates, see the "Response by mode" section.
Of the companies surveyed for the 2014 survey, 26.7% did not submit any response, and an additional 0.8% did not provide enough information to be treated as responses. Nonresponse studies are conducted periodically to assess reasons for nonresponse and possible nonresponse bias. Three metrics used by NSF and the Census Bureau to measure unit response to BRDIS were check-in rates, unit response rates, and coverage rates.
Check-in rate. The check-in rate is defined as the unweighted number of surveys that were either mailed in or submitted online by in-scope companies, divided by the unweighted total number of all in-scope companies in the sample. Response to individual questions did not factor into this metric.
Coverage rate. BRDIS managers track a coverage rate that is a weighted measure of survey response based on the measure of size at the time of sample selection. The coverage rate measures how much of the weighted measure of size for in-scope companies in the sample is accounted for by respondents to the survey.
Unit response rate (URR). The URR is the unweighted number of responding companies with positive data for at least one of the survey's key items (i.e., worldwide R&D expense or R&D costs funded by others, worldwide or domestic sales, or worldwide or domestic employees), divided by the unweighted total number of in-scope companies in the sample.
For the 2014 BRDIS, the check-in rate was 73.3%, and the URR was 72.5%. The coverage rate for the 2013 BRDIS was 91.0% for the known positive R&D group, 78.1% for the unknown R&D group, and 80.4% for the known zero R&D group (appendix tables A-9 and A-10).
BRDIS collects data for over 500 variables, and the distribution of values reported by sample companies is highly skewed. Thus, rather than report unweighted item response rates, total quantity response rates are calculated, which are based on weighted data.
Total quantity response rate (TQRR). For a given published estimate other than count or ratio estimates, TQRR is the percentage of the weighted estimate based on data that were reported by units in the sample or data that were obtained from other sources and were determined to be equivalent in quality to reported data. The TQRR for total R&D performed in the United States in 2014 was 70%.
Total quantity nonresponse rate (TQNR). For a given published estimate, TQNR, defined as 100% minus TQRR, is calculated for each tabulation cell from BRDIS, except for cells that contain count or ratio estimates. TQNR measures the combined effect of the procedures used to handle unit and item nonresponse on the weighted BRDIS estimate. TQNR tables corresponding to each data table are available from the NCSES project officer.
Overall, 14% of checked-in cases responded to BRDIS by mailing in the paper form, and 86% responded using the online version of the survey. However, companies receiving Form BRDI-1 were much more likely to respond online; 95% of all checked-in BRDI-1 forms were submitted online as opposed to only 83% of all checked-in BRDI-1(S) forms. Lastly, 95% of checked in companies with account managers responded via the Internet.
Given the size and complexity of BRDIS, many survey responses included errors that required correction or unusual patterns that required validation. Several hundred automated edit checks were programmed to improve the efficiency of analyst data review and correction (appendix table A-11).
Approximately two-thirds of these edit checks were designed to catch arithmetic errors and logically inconsistent responses (balance edits). The remaining edit checks were designed to flag outliers for further analyst review (analytical edits). Descriptions of the data edits and edit failure rates are in annual methodology reports available from the NCSES project officer.
During the editing and review process, several cases were identified where companies reported zero R&D or a relatively small amount of R&D, even though subject-matter experts expected large amounts of R&D to be reported. Some of these companies were contract research organizations or federal contractors that did not account for the costs they incurred conducting customer-sponsored research as R&D; instead, they accounted for these as cost of sales. The largest of these companies were contacted by analysts and asked to resubmit their surveys. In rare cases, if no response could be elicited from the company and public information was available related to costs for customer-sponsored R&D, those data were used to impute an R&D estimate for the company.
For various reasons, many firms chose to return the survey questionnaire with one or more blank items. For some firms, internal accounting systems and procedures may not have allowed quantification of specific expenditures. Others may have refused to answer any questions as a matter of company policy. Weighted estimates produced from BRDIS include adjustments to account for companies that did not respond to the survey (unit nonresponse) and for companies that did respond but left some questions blank (item nonresponse).
Except for estimates of counts, patents, patent licensing agreements, product or process innovation, and intellectual property protection, unit nonresponse is handled by adjusting weighted reported data and imputed data as follows. Each company's sampling weight is multiplied by a nonresponse adjustment factor. To calculate the adjustment factors, each company in the sample that is eligible for tabulation is assigned to one and only one adjustment cell. The adjustment cells are based on the three R&D groups, which are subdivided based on R&D size and certainty status, and the industry sampling strata described in the "Stratification of the Sampling Frame" section, which are updated using information on industry classification reported in BRDIS. For a given adjustment cell, the nonresponse adjustment factor is the ratio of the sum of the weighted measure of size for all companies in the cell to the sum of the weighted measure of size for all companies in the cell with reported or imputed data. The measure of size used to select the sample for the 2014 BRDIS (see the "Sample Frame" section) was also used to adjust for unit nonresponse. For companies in the known positive R&D stratum, the measure of size was based on R&D in the United States. For companies in the unknown R&D stratum, the measure of size was based on total annual payroll in the United States. For companies in the known zero R&D stratum, an arbitrary value of 1 was assigned as the measure of size so that the records would be subjected to further examination.
For estimates of counts, patents, patent licensing agreements, and product or process innovation, the nonresponse adjustment described above is not performed. For count estimates for the BRDIS checkbox items that involve intellectual property protection, both unit and item nonresponse are handled using a nonresponse weight adjustment that is different from the one described above. The adjustment cells for tabulating the item are based on the three R&D groups, industry sampling strata, and presence or absence of R&D activity. For a given adjustment cell and item, the nonresponse adjustment factor is a ratio. The numerator of the ratio is the sum of two components: the sum of the weights for the companies in the cell that reported the item, inflated to account for unit nonresponse, and the sum of the weights for the companies in the cell that reported to BRDIS but not the item. The denominator of the ratio is the sum of the weights for the companies in the cell that reported the item.
Item nonresponse for a given company is handled by item imputation. For account manager companies, large companies, and special cases, analysts impute these data using direct substitution of available company data (i.e., data from the company's website, annual Form 10-K report, or administrative sources) or ad hoc methods, which are approved by NSF and Census Bureau subject-matter experts (e.g., donor imputation for missing data on federally funded R&D). For all other cases, including cases where analysts were unable to provide a superior estimate, these data are imputed by programmed item imputation procedures. Depending on the particular item being imputed for a company, these procedures are based on a combination of (1) direct substitution of available company data; (2) ratio imputation using the company's survey data for both current and prior year; and (3) ratio imputation using survey data from both the company and other similar companies, which reported both the survey item being imputed for the company and the other survey item used in the ratio. Tables of imputation rates corresponding to each data table are available from the NCSES project officer.
The general methodology used to produce estimates from BRDIS involves sums of weighted data (reported or imputed) in which the weights are the product of the sampling weight and the nonresponse adjustment factor. However, there are some exceptions, which are described below.
Estimates published for BRDIS are computed as sums of weighted data for sample companies that reported to the survey or sample companies for which data could be reliably imputed based on prior reports or other information. Two types of weights are used for estimates of R&D: sampling weights and nonresponse adjustment factors. The sampling weight for a given company is calculated as the reciprocal of the company's probability of inclusion in the sample. Nonresponse adjustment factors are used to represent companies in the sample that did not provide sufficient response data to be directly tabulated and whose data could not be imputed. For information on the calculation of the nonresponse adjustment factors, see the "Unit Nonresponse" section.
Except for estimates of counts, patents, patent licensing agreements, and product or process innovation, each value that contributes to a given BRDIS estimate is multiplied by both its sampling weight and its nonresponse adjustment factor, and these weighted values are then summed to create the estimate. For estimates of counts, patents, patent licensing agreements, and product or process innovation, each value that contributes to a given BRDIS estimate is weighted only by its sampling weight.
As mentioned in the "Industry Classification for Sampling" section, the industry classification assigned to companies for sampling was based on either reported BRDIS business segment data from prior years or annual payroll. To produce more accurate estimates for the current survey year, a company's reported business code data, if available for the current survey year, were used to assign an updated industry code for tabulations. The company's response to the domestic R&D performance questions from the current survey year was used to classify each company into the business code that accounted for the largest amount of total domestic R&D performance. The business codes reported by companies with large amounts of R&D were validated, and in some cases corrected, by survey staff. If no business code data were available for a company's domestic R&D performance, the industry code used for sampling was also used for tabulations.
The estimation methodology for state estimates takes the form of a hybrid estimator, combining the unweighted reported amount, by state, with a weighted amount apportioned (or raked) across states with relevant industrial activity. The hybrid estimator smooths the estimate over states with R&D activity, by industry, and accounts for real observed change within a state. However, as described in the "Weighting" section, the weighted estimator described above is not used to produce estimates of counts, such as estimates of the number of R&D performers, by state.
As described in the "Weighting" section, estimates of innovation activity are sums of weighted data (reported or imputed), where the weights are based on only the sampling weight. For these estimates, the weighted data were not adjusted to account for nonresponse to the survey.
To provide increased granularity on R&D activities, BRDIS includes questions asking companies to report data for business units below the company level. To support subcompany reporting, a list of business codes based on NAICS was provided in BRDIS for companies to use to categorize their business operations. The list of business codes for the 2014 cycle of BRDIS was based on the 2012 NAICS. To assist companies in selecting appropriate business codes, likely business codes were provided to respondents by printing them on the forms mailed to companies and by pre-populating them on the online version of the survey. For companies that reported to the 2012 or 2013 BRDIS, the most recent business codes reported by the company were used to provide the business codes. For companies that did not report to the 2012 or 2013 BRDIS, establishment payroll data from the Business Register were used to provide the business codes.
The company count estimates for 2014 are not comparable with estimates published for previous years. Previously, all companies that met the response criteria and reported R&D were included in the company counts. For 2014, several hundred companies reporting less than $10,000 of R&D and no R&D employees were reviewed, and the R&D was edited to zero because it was determined to most likely be response error. Because companies meeting these criteria contributed negligible amounts to BRDIS R&D estimates, they had not been similarly reviewed on a consistent basis in prior years. These companies tended to have high sample weights, so zeroing their R&D had a large impact on the estimate of R&D-active companies compared to prior years when similar corrections were not made.
See the "Sampling and Nonsampling Error" section for information on the sampling variability of estimates produced from BRDIS.
Variations in respondent interpretations of the definitions of R&D activities and variations in accounting procedures are of particular concern—specifically, the characterization and reporting of R&D activities by large defense contractors funded by the U.S. federal government; the reporting of R&D activities by companies classified in the R&D services industry (NAICS 5417); and the method used by companies, in general, to count and report numbers of employees in various categories, such as the number of employees who work full time versus part time on R&D. The sophistication and comprehensiveness of a company's accounting and personnel tracking systems often depend on its size and activities and on its willingness to accommodate government-sponsored surveys. While no measure of measurement error is produced, ongoing efforts to minimize measurement error include questionnaire pretesting, improvement of questionnaire wording and format, inclusion of more cues and examples in the questionnaire instructions, in-person and telephone interviews and consultations with respondents, and postsurvey evaluations.
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Capital expenditure. Capital expenditures are payments by a business for assets that usually have a useful life of more than 1 year, like buildings, equipment, or software. The value of assets acquired or improved through capital expenditures is recorded on a company's balance sheet. Expenditures for long-lived assets used in a company's R&D operations are not included in its R&D expense, but any depreciation recorded for those assets would be included in its R&D expense. Data are collected in BRDIS for capital expenditures for R&D operations for structures, equipment, capitalized software, and other items.
Employment, total and R&D. Involves the number of people employed by R&D-performing or R&D-funding companies in all locations, both foreign and domestic, during the pay period that included 12 March of the survey year. (The date 12 March is what most employers use when paying first-quarter employment taxes to IRS.) R&D employees are those who provide direct support to R&D, such as researchers, R&D managers, technicians, clerical staff, and others assigned to R&D groups. Those not included are employees who provide indirect support to R&D, such as corporate personnel, security guards, and cafeteria workers. In addition to headcounts of total and R&D employees, estimates of full-time equivalent (FTE) domestic R&D employment are produced from BRDIS. This is the number of persons employed who were assigned full time to R&D, plus a prorated number of employees who worked on R&D only part of the time.
Expense and R&D expense. Involves money spent or cost incurred in an organization's efforts to generate revenue, representing the cost of doing business. Expenses may be in the form of actual cash payments (such as wages and salaries), a computed expired portion (depreciation) of an asset, or an amount taken out of earnings (such as bad debts). Expenses are summarized and charged in the income statement as deductions from the income before assessing income tax. Whereas all expenses are costs, not all costs are expenses (e.g., costs incurred in acquisition of income generating assets—see the definition of "Capital expenditure" above). R&D expense is the cost of R&D funded by the company itself and performed within the respondent company's facilities, both foreign and domestic, or performed by others outside of the company under contract, subcontract, grant, or other funding arrangement.
Innovation. BRDIS questions on innovation activities refer only to product and process innovation. A product innovation is the market introduction of a new or significantly improved good or service with respect to its capabilities, user friendliness, components, or subsystems. A process innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved production process, distribution method, or support activity for the company's goods or services. Product and process innovations (new or improved) must be new to the respondent company, but they do not need to be new to the company's market, and the innovations could have been originally developed by the respondent company or by other companies. Purely organizational innovations (i.e., those of benefit only to the company) are excluded.
R&D and business R&D. R&D is planned, creative work aimed at discovering new knowledge or developing new or significantly improved goods and services. This includes (1) activities aimed at acquiring new knowledge or understanding without specific immediate commercial applications or uses (basic research), (2) activities aimed at solving a specific problem or meeting a specific commercial objective (applied research), and (3) systematic use of research and practical experience to produce new or significantly improved goods, services, or processes (development). R&D includes both direct costs, such as salaries of researchers, and administrative and overhead costs clearly associated with the company's R&D. However, R&D does not include expenditures for routine product testing, quality control, and technical services unless they are an integral part of an R&D project. R&D also does not include market research; efficiency surveys or management studies; literary, artistic, or historical projects, such as films, music, or books and other publications; and prospecting or exploration for natural resources.
R&D, biotechnology. R&D activity in biotechnology refers to activities involving the use of cellular and biomolecular processes to solve problems or make useful products. The following list provides examples of areas of biotechnology in which R&D may be performed.
R&D, nanotechnology. R&D activity in nanotechnology refers to activities involving science and technology involved in the study, creation, or use of objects at the nanoscale, which is generally considered to be 100 nanometers or smaller. Many technologies related to conventional solid-state semiconductor manufacturing are capable of creating features smaller than 100 nanometers, and R&D involving these technologies is included in the BRDIS data collection.
R&D paid for by others, worldwide and domestic. The cost of R&D funded by others outside of the company, including the U.S. federal government, and performed within the respondent company's facilities, both foreign and domestic.
R&D paid for by the company and others, worldwide and domestic. Involves the cost of R&D funded by the company itself or by others outside of the company and performed within the respondent company's facilities, both foreign and domestic, or performed by others outside of the company under contract, subcontract, grant, or other funding arrangement.
R&D performed by the company, worldwide and domestic. The cost of R&D performed within the respondent company's facilities, both foreign and domestic, funded by the company itself or by others outside of the company.
R&D performed by the company and others, worldwide and domestic. The cost of R&D performed within the respondent company's facilities, both foreign and domestic, or performed by others outside of the company under contract, subcontract, grant, or other funding arrangement.
R&D performed by others, worldwide and domestic. Involves the cost of R&D funded by the company itself or by others outside of the company and performed by others outside of the company under contract, subcontract, grant, or other funding arrangement.
R&D, software and Internet. R&D activity in software and Internet applications refers only to activities with an element of uncertainty and that are intended to close knowledge gaps and meet scientific and technological needs. This item is reported in this survey regardless of the eventual user (internal or external). R&D activity in software includes software development or improvement activities that expand scientific or technological knowledge and construction of new theories and algorithms in the field of computer science. R&D activity in software excludes software development that does not depend on a scientific or technological advance, such as supporting or adapting existing systems, adding functionality to existing application programs, routine debugging of existing systems and software, creating new software based on known methods and applications, converting or translating existing software and software languages, and adapting a product to a specific client, unless knowledge that significantly improved the base program was added in that process.
Sales, worldwide and domestic. Involves dollar values for goods sold or services rendered by R&D-performing or R&D-funding companies to customers outside the company, including the U.S. federal government, less such items as returns, allowances, freight, charges, and excise taxes. Included are worldwide sales by a company's foreign operations and subsidiaries and also revenues from domestic operations located in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia; intracompany transfers are excluded. If a respondent company is owned by a foreign parent company, sales to the parent company and to affiliates not owned by the respondent companies are included.
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The following changes were made to the 2014 BRDIS from the 2013 BRDIS:
The following changes were made to the 2013 BRDIS from the 2012 BRDIS:
For 2012, a much shorter (8-page) version of the short form (BRD-1(S)) was implemented. The form included 19 high-level detail items on worldwide sales; domestic sales; R&D expense funded both by company and by others; employment both worldwide and domestic, including R&D employment; and patents applied for and issued. Companies that reported $1 million or more of domestic R&D performance were then sent the long form (BRDI-1) for additional details. The BRD-1S form was sent to companies in the unknown and known zero R&D strata. In section 2, the questionnaire collected the additional detail categories for capital expenditures. In section 3, four agencies were added to the type of agency question in an attempt to reduce the amount reported in the "All other" category. In section 4, the percentage of R&D that was directed toward business areas or product lines new to the respondent's company as well as percentages that pertain to defense applications, health or medical applications, or agricultural applications were added for R&D funded by the company and R&D funded by others.
For the 2011 data collection, the innovation questions and instructions in section 1 were changed based on the results of the 2010 experiment. Cycling continued for data items not needed every year. The survey was expanded in several ways to address data gaps: the list of countries in which companies could report foreign R&D performance was expanded, a question was added to collect intracompany R&D transactions, and questions were added about companies' second-largest R&D location. In addition, questions pertaining to FTE R&D scientists and engineers were revised in an attempt to improve respondent understanding of survey concepts.
For the 2010 data collection, the most notable changes made to the questionnaire were the inclusion of a one-time section (section 7) on R&D time frame and R&D product life, the inclusion of an experiment testing the impact of different innovation questions and instructions, and the addition of a survey supplement to collect detailed information from companies reporting R&D paid for by others. In addition, questions and instructions about company ownership were expanded to clarify, especially for foreign-owned companies, the information that should be reported on the survey. Cycling began for data items not needed every year from every company. These items will be returned to the questionnaire cyclically, depending on the demand for and quality of the collected data. Finally, data items poorly reported during the first two cycles of BRDIS were deleted.
The section entitled "R&D Time Frame and R&D Product Life" was added to the questionnaire for the 2010 cycle to aid in estimating the depreciation of R&D when it is treated as an investment in the U.S. System of National Accounts.
The experiment testing the impact of different innovation questions and instructions used two versions of the BRDIS short form. The innovation questions on the 2010 Form BRDI-1A were identical to questions used on the 2009 Form BRDI-1A, and the 2010 Form BRDI-1B altered the questions and instructions to replicate innovation questions on the European Union's Community Innovation Survey. The experiment did not produce statistically significant differences in measured rates of innovation.
Several changes were made to the 2009 BRDIS questionnaire—in part, to address reporting errors observed during the 2008 survey cycle. Briefly, these changes included the following:
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The data from BRDIS can be found online at https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/industry/. Detailed historical statistics from the predecessor survey, SIRD, can be obtained from NSF's Industrial Research and Development Information System (IRIS) at https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/iris/. Information from BRDIS is also included in Science and Engineering Indicators and in National Patterns of R&D Resources.
BRDIS contains confidential data that are protected under Title 13 and Title 26 of the United States Code. Two types of data are currently available: public-use tabular statistics and restricted microdata. Detailed tabular statistics can be obtained by contacting the BRDIS project officer. Microdata for the SIRD and BRDIS can only be accessed at the Census Bureau's secure Research Data Centers (RDCs). To learn more about RDCs and for instruction on how to apply for data use, please visit the Center for Economic Studies page on research opportunities (http://www.census.gov/ces/rdcresearch/index.html).
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|A-1||counts, by frame partition: 2008–14||View Excel||View PDF|
|A-2||companies in and selected for the sample, by industry and company size: 2014||View Excel||View PDF|
|A-3||size, by frame partition: 2008–14||View Excel||View PDF|
|A-4||companies, by sampling stratum: 2014||View Excel||View PDF|
|A-5||companies included that were not in the original sampling frame: 2008–14||View Excel||View PDF|
|A-6||number and type mailed: 2008–14||View Excel||View PDF|
|by sampling stratum|
|A-7||mailed: 2014||View Excel||View PDF|
|A-8||mailed for companies with subcompany reporting units: 2014||View Excel||View PDF|
|A-9||measures: 2008–14||View Excel||View PDF|
|A-10||unit rates, by industry and survey form type: 2014||View Excel||View PDF|
|Companies that required an analyst action|
|A-11||by sampling stratum: 2014||View Excel||View PDF|
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