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


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Key figures

9 %

more R&D man-years

Research and development in business enterprise sector
20172016 - 2017
All enterprises (10+ employed)
LevelPercentagesChange in per cent
Intramural R&D expenditure (NOK million)32 573.010010.5
Manufacturing10 563.3326.0
Services total18 208.05613.6
Other industries3 801.7128.8
Size of enterprise
10-49 persons employed10 103.331
50-99 persons employed3 877.612
100-199 persons employed4 060.612
200-499 persons employed4 282.913
500 persons employed and more10 248.631
R&D man-years (number of)21 3368.8
Extramural R&D expenditure (NOK million)7 390.25.4

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. (10+ employees). Three years.

Intramural and extramural R&D expenditure and R&D man-years in business enterprise sector, by industry and size class. (10+ employees). Three years.
Intramural R&D (NOK million)Extramural R&D (NOK million)R&D man-years (number of)
Nace (SN2007) and size class
A-N All industries27 782.429 489.232 573.06 780.87 014.17 390.219 08719 61621 336
10-19 persons employed2 845.03 264.54 198.4543.3523.6672.82 5042 3402 982
20-49 persons employed4 500.94 778.85 904.9768.5951.11 011.43 4863 5404 189
50-99 persons employed3 129.33 381.03 877.6495.7436.0619.32 4222 5192 883
100-199 persons employed2 986.53 456.84 060.6499.5510.0666.82 2652 5322 801
200-499 persons employed3 091.63 959.34 282.91 284.61 242.81 342.52 0402 5182 863
500 persons employed and more11 229.010 648.710 248.63 189.13 350.73 077.46 3696 1675 618
C Manufacturing10 091.99 963.410 563.32 045.91 965.72 310.27 0767 0537 395
10-19 persons employed632.8801.2857.0233.3192.2236.2489556589
20-49 persons employed1 248.41 167.61 346.0206.1158.6229.49518881 032
50-99 persons employed771.2843.51 001.885.799.7140.1643641787
100-199 persons employed1 655.41 808.81 827.6272.8255.8354.11 3101 4081 396
200-499 persons employed1 307.01 386.71 551.9473.1432.8437.99711 0241 177
500 persons employed and more4 477.13 955.73 979.1775.0826.6912.52 7122 5342 415
G-N Services total14 529.916 033.018 208.02 331.82 497.72 655.210 49510 97612 205
10-19 persons employed2 076.02 363.62 962.6279.5308.0392.81 9331 7462 235
20-49 persons employed2 891.73 193.24 253.7488.7700.6716.92 3632 4482 962
50-99 persons employed1 906.22 022.22 223.4294.0243.4357.61 4981 5571 731
100-199 persons employed1 155.61 391.91 937.8163.7182.3250.98641 0131 255
200-499 persons employed1 590.82 348.02 431.8426.1465.6368.39831 3991 566
500 persons employed and more4 909.54 714.24 398.7679.7597.8568.82 8552 8132 456
A, B, D-F Other industries3 160.63 492.73 801.72 403.12 550.72 424.81 5161 5871 737
10-19 persons employed136.299.7378.830.523.443.88338159
20-49 persons employed360.8418.0305.373.791.965.1173203195
50-99 persons employed452.0515.3652.4116.192.9121.7282320366
100-199 persons employed175.5256.2295.163.071.961.891111150
200-499 persons employed193.7224.6299.3385.4344.3536.48694120
500 persons employed and more1 842.31 978.91 870.81 734.41 926.21 596.0802821747

Table 2 
Intramural R&D expenditure in business enterprise sector, by industry and size class (5+ employees). NOK million

Intramural R&D expenditure in business enterprise sector, by industry and size class (5+ employees). NOK million
Total R&D expendituresTotal R&D current costOf this:R&D investment cost
Compensation to EmployeesCosts for hired personnelOther current costs
NACE (SN2007) and size classes
A-N All industries (5+ persons employed)35 413.033 455.821 876.34 280.17 299.31 957.3
A-N All industries (10+ persons employed)32 573.030 944.920 174.33 896.56 874.11 628.1
5-9 persons employed2 840.02 510.81 702.0383.6425.2329.2
10-19 persons employed4 198.43 876.32 416.7479.4980.2322.1
20-49 persons employed5 904.95 590.23 702.1875.11 013.0314.8
50-99 persons employed3 877.63 644.82 607.1334.6703.1232.8
100-199 persons employed4 060.63 885.12 714.3373.2797.7175.4
200-499 persons employed4 282.94 133.02 885.6579.9667.5150.0
500 persons employed and more10 248.69 815.55 848.51 254.32 712.7433.1
C Manufacturing (5+ persons employed)10 924.010 213.27 010.5585.52 617.2710.9
C Manufacturing (10+ persons employed)10 563.39 895.36 802.1539.42 553.7668.0
5-9 persons employed360.7317.8208.446.063.442.9
10-19 persons employed857.0751.7470.870.5210.4105.3
20-49 persons employed1 346.01 245.7856.493.3295.9100.3
50-99 persons employed1 001.8932.7685.153.2194.469.1
100-199 persons employed1 827.61 729.41 265.989.2374.498.1
200-499 persons employed1 551.91 464.41 093.4126.3244.787.5
500 persons employed and more3 979.13 771.52 430.6106.91 234.0207.6
G-N Services total (5+ persons employed)20 379.919 643.113 039.83 460.83 142.4736.9
G-N Services total (10+ persons employed)18 208.017 651.611 622.73 133.82 895.1556.4
5-9 persons employed2 172.01 991.51 417.1327.0247.3180.5
10-19 persons employed2 962.62 846.01 823.4391.5631.1116.6
20-49 persons employed4 253.74 090.72 676.9755.2658.6163.0
50-99 persons employed2 223.42 152.11 592.2257.2302.771.3
100-199 persons employed1 937.81 887.91 299.3271.7316.949.9
200-499 persons employed2 431.82 400.91 653.9409.5337.530.9
500 persons employed and more4 398.74 274.12 577.11 048.7648.3124.6
A, B, D-F Other industries (5+ persons employed)4 109.13 599.51 825.9233.91 539.8509.5
A, B, D-F Other industries (10+ persons employed)3 801.73 398.01 749.5223.31 425.2403.7
5-9 persons employed307.4201.676.510.5114.5105.8
10-19 persons employed378.8278.6122.617.4138.7100.2
20-49 persons employed305.3253.9168.826.658.551.4
50-99 persons employed652.4560.1329.824.2206.192.3
100-199 persons employed295.1267.8149.112.3106.427.4
200-499 persons employed299.3267.7138.344.285.231.5
500 persons employed and more1 870.81 769.9840.998.7830.4100.9

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

Next release

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 35 percent, but in some strata 15 and 10 percent are used. The total sample of units is about 4-5000.

The sample was extended in the 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015 survey to also include enterprises with 5-9 employees. The total sample of these years is therefore larger than earlier years, about 5600 units in 2015. 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. The survey for 2016 does not include enterprises with 5-9 employees.

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).

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 quite high, around 95 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