Technology and innovation;Establishments, enterprises and accounts
foun, Research and development in the business enterprise sector, R&D personnel, R&D man-years, R&D expenditures, funding of R&D, R&D servicesResearch and innovation in business enterprise sector , Establishments and enterprises , Establishments, enterprises and accounts, Technology and innovation

Research and development in the business enterprise sector


Next update

Not yet determined

Key figures

21 209

performed R&D man-years in 2018

Research and development in business enterprise sector. Preliminary figures
20182017 - 2018
All enterprises (10+ employed)
LevelPercentagesChange in per cent
Intramural R&D expenditure (NOK million)33 216.21003.8
Manufacturing10 942.0334.0
Services total18 206.5552.3
Other industries4 067.81210.6
Size of enterprise
10-49 persons employed10 043.330
50-99 persons employed4 139.012
100-199 persons employed4 066.112
200-499 persons employed4 445.213
500 persons employed and more10 522.632
R&D man-years (number of)21 2090.0
Extramural R&D expenditure (NOK million)7 585.71.4

See selected tables from this statistics

Table 1 
Intramural and extramural R&D expenditure and R&D man-years in business enterprise sector, by industry and size class. Three years. Preliminary figures

Intramural and extramural R&D expenditure and R&D man-years in business enterprise sector, by industry and size class. Three years. Preliminary figures
Intramural R&D (NOK million)Extramural R&D (NOK million)R&D man-years (number of)
Nace (SN2007) and size class
A-N All industries29 489.231 989.833 216.27 014.17 481.07 585.719 61621 20521 209
10-19 persons employed3 264.54 022.14 225.9523.6661.2475.32 3402 8982 828
20-49 persons employed4 778.85 682.45 817.5951.1938.6928.33 5404 1004 168
50-99 persons employed3 381.03 771.54 139.0436.0582.5706.02 5192 8523 011
100-199 persons employed3 456.84 151.94 066.1510.0686.0730.12 5322 8432 713
200-499 persons employed3 959.34 156.44 445.21 242.81 416.81 398.52 5182 7552 867
500 persons employed and more10 648.710 205.610 522.63 350.73 195.93 347.46 1675 7575 620
C Manufacturing9 963.410 521.910 942.01 965.72 275.51 930.97 0537 4677 392
10-19 persons employed801.2816.1786.7192.2233.779.6556581561
20-49 persons employed1 167.61 289.21 179.3158.6171.8120.2888993917
50-99 persons employed843.5956.81 026.199.7119.7131.3641780770
100-199 persons employed1 808.81 846.01 932.8255.8383.6319.11 4081 3891 395
200-499 persons employed1 386.71 540.71 732.6432.8491.9536.41 0241 1711 302
500 persons employed and more3 955.74 073.04 284.5826.6874.9744.22 5342 5532 447
G-N Services total16 033.017 790.218 206.52 497.72 763.93 028.310 97612 02912 073
10-19 persons employed2 363.62 889.22 990.4308.0391.4376.91 7462 1872 158
20-49 persons employed3 193.24 096.44 203.6700.6704.3723.12 4482 9143 018
50-99 persons employed2 022.22 175.52 500.2243.4340.4427.71 5571 7061 900
100-199 persons employed1 391.92 007.61 747.1182.3240.9339.71 0131 2951 120
200-499 persons employed2 348.02 346.12 482.4465.6375.6473.91 3991 4641 481
500 persons employed and more4 714.24 275.44 282.7597.8711.2686.92 8132 4632 396
A, B, D-F Other industries3 492.73 677.84 067.82 550.72 441.52 626.51 5871 7091 744
10-19 persons employed99.7316.8448.723.436.218.838130109
20-49 persons employed418.0296.8434.691.962.584.9203193234
50-99 persons employed515.3639.2612.792.9122.3147.0320366342
100-199 persons employed256.2298.2386.271.961.571.2111160198
200-499 persons employed224.6269.6230.2344.3549.3388.29412084
500 persons employed and more1 978.91 857.21 955.41 926.21 609.81 916.3821741778

Table 2 
Intramural R&D expenditure in business enterprise sector, by industry and size class. NOK million. Preliminary figures

Intramural R&D expenditure in business enterprise sector, by industry and size class. NOK million. Preliminary figures
Total R&D expendituresTotal R&D current costOf this:R&D investment cost
Compensation of employeesCosts for hired personnelOther current costs
NACE (SN2007) and size classes
A-N All industries33 216.231 065.720 642.63 704.46 718.82 150.5
10-19 persons employed4 225.93 903.72 552.8438.7912.2322.2
20-49 persons employed5 817.55 434.33 673.1756.91 004.3383.1
50-99 persons employed4 139.03 927.12 793.7411.3722.1211.9
100-199 persons employed4 066.13 797.32 672.3322.4802.5268.8
200-499 persons employed4 445.24 292.02 995.3597.2699.5153.1
500 persons employed and more10 522.69 711.35 955.31 177.82 578.1811.3
C Manufacturing10 942.09 964.26 940.6530.22 493.4977.7
10-19 persons employed786.7720.1452.360.5207.366.7
20-49 persons employed1 179.31 095.6770.188.2237.383.7
50-99 persons employed1 026.1980.1714.757.2208.246.0
100-199 persons employed1 932.81 816.01 298.288.1429.7116.9
200-499 persons employed1 732.61 658.01 239.3107.3311.474.6
500 persons employed and more4 284.53 694.52 466.1129.01 099.4590.0
G-N Services total18 206.517 612.611 897.22 911.42 804.0593.8
10-19 persons employed2 990.42 904.52 010.9353.3540.485.9
20-49 persons employed4 203.64 022.42 710.4613.9698.2181.1
50-99 persons employed2 500.22 419.81 758.7315.7345.480.4
100-199 persons employed1 747.11 625.21 170.3215.5239.4121.9
200-499 persons employed2 482.42 446.81 650.6446.0350.135.6
500 persons employed and more4 282.74 193.82 596.4966.9630.588.9
A-B_D-F Other industries4 067.83 488.91 804.7262.81 421.4578.9
10-19 persons employed448.7279.189.624.9164.5169.6
20-49 persons employed434.6316.3192.654.968.8118.3
50-99 persons employed612.7527.2320.338.4168.585.6
100-199 persons employed386.2356.1203.918.8133.430.1
200-499 persons employed230.2187.3105.443.938.042.9
500 persons employed and more1 955.41 823.0892.882.0848.2132.4

About the statistics

The survey measures expenditures for research and development (R&D) in business enterprises, performed by own personnel or purchased services from others, and how the R&D activity is funded. In addition other aspects like type of R&D, thematic fields and co-operation are covered. 


Definitions of the main concepts and variables

R&D comprises creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications. The main criteria of R&D activities are the presence of an appreciable element of novelty and uncertainty on the outcome. Normal construction and planning activities, that follow established routines, is not R&D. Either is the introduction of known, established technology for the enterprise.

Definition of the main variables

R&D personnel
encompass all personnel directly involved in research and development, including administrative personnel, persons in supporting functions, both inside and outside the R&D department.

A R&D man-year
is the R&D work one person has performed during the year.

Intramural R&D expenditures
are all expenditures for R&D; performed within the statistical unit. Intramural R&D expenditures encompass labour costs, cost of hired personnel, other current costs and capital expenditures on R&D.

Extramural R&D expenditures
encompass R&D services purchased from others; as research institutes, other enterprises, also including units in the same enterprise group.

Standard classifications

The statistical units are classified according to:

  • Standard Industrial Classification (SIC2007). The basis for SIC 2007 is the EU standard NACE Rev. 2 and the UN standard ISIC Rev. 3.
  • Size class by number of employees: 05-09 employees, 10-19, 20-49, 50-99, 100-199, 200-499 and 500+ employees

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Research and development in the business enterprise sector
Topic: Technology and innovation

Responsible division

Division for Business Dynamics Statistics

Regional level

National level, key variables by county and economic region. Main variables by county are available in Statbank; by economic region on request,

Frequency and timeliness

Annual. Preliminary results are published in October year t+1, final results in February year t+2.

International reporting

The statistics are reported to OECD and Eurostat.


Micro data and information about sample units and population are stored permanently. For access to microdata for research purposes, see http://www.ssb.no/en/omssb/tjenester-og-verktoy/data-til-forskning.


Background and purpose

The purpose with the R&D surveys is to monitor the national R&D activity. The R&D survey for the Business enterprise sector is performed each year by Statistics Norway on contract for the Norwegian Research Council who also contribute to the funding of the survey. Surveys on the R&D activity in the Government sector and the Higher Education sector are undertaken by Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU). The survey, and the results, follows the recommendations given in the OECD Frascati manual.

The survey undertaken by Statistics Norway measures the expenditures of R&D in the business enterprise sector, both R&D performed by own personnel (intramural R&D) and R&D services purchased from others like research institutes, other enterprises etc. (extramural R&D) and how the R&D activity is financed (own sources, public sources etc.). The R&D activity is distributed by type of R&D, research field a.o. The content of the survey varies slightly from year to year.

Users and applications

Important users are public administration, like ministries and  the Research Council, researchers, business organizations. The survey is important for evaluation of the R&D and innovation policy and the industrial policy in general. The statistics are also used by international organizations like EU/Eurostat and OECD.


The national R&D Statistics are published at the same time by Statistics Norway and NIFU. Preliminary results are published in October year t+1. The variables being published are number of R&D personnel, number of R&D man-years and R&D expenditures. Final results are published in January/February year t+2. This release provides more detailed results by industry and region and several breakdowns of the main variables. Normally there are only small differences in the main variables from preliminary to final release. Both preliminary and final results are based on reported figures from the enterprises.  

Equal treatment of users

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 08 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar.

Exception from the principle of equal treatment: 

The Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU) has access to some of the main preliminary figures from SSBs R&D statistics for the business enterprise sector before these are published on SSB’s website. NIFU adds up the results from their sectors with data from SSB to publish the total national R&D.

Coherence with other statistics

For total national R&D figures the R&D survey for the business enterprise sector has to be added to NIFU’s surveys for the Government sector and the Higher Education sector.  NIFU is responsible for publishing of national figures, but some main results are also available in SSB’s Statbank.

The R&D survey for the business enterprise sector was formerly carried out together with the innovation survey and data collected together in the same questionnaire. From 2013 onwards the R&D survey and the innovation survey are carried out separately. As previously the results from these surveys are published separately. R&D is one of the innovation activities, but the innovation survey covers a wider range of activities than R&D only.

Legal authority

Sections 2-2 and 2-3 of Act no. 54 of 16 June 1989 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway.

EEA reference

European Parliament and Council Decision No. 1608/2003/EC of 22 July 2003 concerning the production and development of Community statistics on science and technology and implementing Commission Regulation No. 995/2012 of 26 October 2012 as regards statistics on science and technology.



The Business Enterprise sector. NACE-sectors 03, 05-33, 35-39, 41-43, 46, 49-53, 58-66, 70-72, 74.9, 82.9 (SN2007).

Data sources and sampling

Surveys using the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises as a frame.

The survey is a census of all units with at least 50 employees. In addition are all units with10-49 employees and with considerable reported R&D activity in the previous survey included. Among the other units with 10 - 49 employees a random sample is drawn within each strata (NACE 2-digit and size class). The fraction rate is normally 30 percent, but in some strata 15 and 10 percent are used.

The sample was about 5 300 units. 

The sample was extended in the 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2017 survey to also include enterprises with 5-9 employees. The total sample of these years is therefore larger than in the years in between. For comparability the statistics were presented both with and without this extension of the survey. The enterprises with 5-9 employees are not included in comparisons over time and international comparisons.

From 2008 onwards, enterprises with less than 20 employees in the industries Construction and Transportation and storage are not included. These groups have a large number of enterprises and a very low share of the total R&D activity in the business enterprise sector.

The statistical unit is enterprise, and with breakdown of a number of variables to establishments (local kind-of-activity unit). Until 1999 the statistical unit was the branch unit ( kind-of-activity unit) .

An enterprise is defined as the smallest combination of legal units that is an organizational unit producing goods or services. An enterprise may be a sole legal unit. An enterprise carries out one or more activities at one or more locations and may consist of one or more branch units or establishments. A establishment is geographically located in one particular place and its main activity delimited to one NACE-class. A branch unit encompasses all establishment units within the same NACE-class, but is not necessarily located to only one region. The use of branch unit/establishments gives the most detailed breakdown of the statistics by NACE. When enterprise is used as statistical unit the R&D activity is classified by NACE according to the enterprise’s main activity.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

The data on R&D are collected by electronic questionnaire, more information at http://www.ssb.no/innrapportering/naeringsliv/fou.  The forms are sent out 4-5 months after the end of the reference year.

Response burden
The time used to fill in the form is estimated to 30 minutes on average. This yields a total response burden of 2150 hours for the enterprises. However, the content of the questionnaire may vary from one year to another.


All forms undergo on-receipt controls (is the questionnaire filled in, is there any obvious inconsistencies etc). There are integrated a number of controls in the electronic questionaire. After the data are made available electronically, more detailed controls take part, including check with the data from the previous survey, information from the financial account etc.


For units with less than 50 employees the survey is based on a sample of units. Total figures for this part of the survey population are estimated based on the sample units. The estimations are done within each stratum, NACE 2-digit level and size-class.

R&D expenditure are reported and published in current prices. For total R&D expenditure figures at constant prices are also calculated. A new deflator is adopted for calculating R&D expenditure at constant prices for 2013 and the period back to 1970. The base year is 2005. The new deflator is based on the price index of production in NACE 72 Research and development in the national accounts. This is a weighted cost index - an average index for the different types of expenditure. The same deflator is used for all institutional sectors in the R&D statistics. Formerly various price indices were used for the various types of expenditure (wages, operating expenditures and investments) and performing sectors. There are two main reasons for this change of index: The new index will also be used in the national accounts where R&D after the main revision of SNA is capitalized, and it will simplify fixed price calculations significantly.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


Results are published at an aggregated level. Individual enterprises can not be identified.

Comparability over time and space

The first surveys of R&D started back in 1963, from 1970 onwards in a systematic way. The statistics have been worked out on bi-annual basis since 1977, but is undertaken annually from 2001 onwards. The first surveys covered only manufacturing industry, but the service industries have gradually been included. Statistics Norway is responsible for the survey for the Business enterprise sector from 1991 onwards. In 1995 the survey was considerably extended.

From 1991 the statistical unit was the kind-of-activity unit. For 2001 this was changed to enterprise as the main statistical unit, but with a breakdown of the main variables to local kind-of-activity unit.

From 2008 a new version of the industry classification (SN2007) was implemented making it more difficult to compare with former vintages. Results from 2007 are published both by the old and the new classification, while former vintages only are published by the old classification (SN2002).

Every second year, enterprises With 5-9 employees are included in the survey.For comparability the statistics were presented both with and without this extension of the survey. The enterprises with 5-9 employees are not included in comparisons over time and international comparisons.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

The concept of R&D may be difficult to distinguish from related activities.

The response rate for the survey is high, around 99 per cent, and the results should for that reason not be biased by non-respondents. In case of non-response from large R&D performers there are good routines to estimate missing data. Preliminary results have a larger degree of uncertainty than final results.  

Due to controls in the electronic questionnaire, the item non-response is almost non-existent. Item non-response  is in case adjusted during the revision process.

The population of enterprises is based upon the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises. The sample is stratified by NACE 2-digit and number of employees. Incomplete updating of these variables and entries and exits of enterprises may cause errors in the survey.


Not relevant