The Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS) is the primary source of information on domestic and global research and development expenditures and the R&D workforce for companies 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 Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) within the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The results of the survey are used to assess trends in the performance and funding of R&D. Government agencies, corporations, and research organizations use the data to investigate productivity, formulate tax policy, and compare individual company performance with industry averages. Individual researchers in industry and academia use the data to investigate a variety of topics and to prepare professional papers, dissertations, and books. Total R&D expenditure statistics are used by the Bureau of Economic Analysis for inclusion in its System of National Accounts and Foreign Direct Investment programs.
Further, the BRDIS statistics make it possible to evaluate more fully the status of R&D in the United States and to compare the R&D and innovation activities of the United States with those of other nations. The usefulness of the information collected in this survey is enhanced by linking it to the Census Bureau's Longitudinal Establishment and Enterprise Microdata file, which contains information on the outputs and inputs of companies' manufacturing plants. Response to this survey is mandatory and confidential under Title 13 of the United States Code.
In conducting BRDIS, data are collected from a probability sample of for-profit companies, which are classified in select manufacturing and nonmanufacturing industries. BRDIS is administered both to companies known to have performed R&D and to companies with no known history of R&D activity. 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 foreign owners as if they were unrelated third parties.
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, with a particular focus on those companies that perform R&D in the United States. A company is defined as one or more establishments under common domestic ownership or control.
The Census Bureau's Business Register contains information on more than 3 million establishments with paid employees. It serves as the primary input to the sample frame from which the sample is selected. For companies with more than one establishment, data are summed to the company level to assign an industry classification code and a measure of size, which are used in designing the sample. Companies are excluded from the frame if they are classified in an industry that is outside the scope of BRDIS or have fewer than five employees, based on their prior year aggregated annual payroll and employment data.
Terms used in business accounting and incorporated throughout the tables are defined in appendix A, "Technical Notes."
The BRDIS reports and data can be found at https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/industry/.