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June 28 -- The Census Bureau invites public comment by August 27, 2021 on the draft Business Enterprise Research and Development Survey (BERD) for the 2021-2023 survey years.
 
The U.S. Census Bureau, with support from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) within the National Science Foundation, plans to conduct the Business Enterprise Research and Development Survey (BERD) for the 2021-2023 survey years. BERD covers all domestic, non-farm, for-profit businesses with at least 10 paid employees. BERD provides the only comprehensive national data on Research and Development (R&D) costs and detailed expenses by type and industry. The Census Bureau has conducted an R&D survey since 1957, collecting primarily financial information on the systematic work companies undertake to discover new knowledge or use existing knowledge to develop new or improved goods and services.

Beginning in 2020, in an effort to reduce burden, BERD began rotating select content off the survey in alternating years. In 2020, questions related to detail of R&D performed by others, activities with academia, industries of business and specific federal agency funding R&D, and areas of application for R&D were removed from BERD. In 2021, all of those questions will be reintroduced to the survey and the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Section will be removed from the survey.

Beginning in 2021, the BERD will revise its existing Capital Expenditures section to collect additional information on assets. Cognitive testing on these questions conducted by the Census Bureau in 2018 revealed that these questions pose no substantive impact on burden (the data requested are all readily available in most companies' books) and would provide context on capital stock of R&D active companies not currently available in any other data source.

The 2021-2023 BERD target sample size is 47,500 companies, stratified by industry and other variables. It will collect the following types of information:

R&D expense based on accepted accounting standards.
Worldwide R&D of domestic companies.
Business segment detail.
R&D-related capital expenditures.
Detailed data about the R&D workforce.
R&D strategy and data on the potential impact of R&D on the market.
R&D directed to application areas of particular national interest.
Data measuring intellectual property protection activities and technology transfer.
 
BERD website (Census): https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/brds.html
BERD website (NSF): https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/srvyberd/
Draft BERD 2021-23, including technical documentation and survey instrument https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0kzg8ewfq724pm1/AACQiAGzUJ3KfRaSDP0bGdiva?dl=0
FRN inviting public comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/06/28/2021-13670/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-to-the-office-of-management-and-budget-omb-for
 
Point of contact: Michael Flaherty, U.S. Census Bureau, Chief, Research, Development & Innovation Surveys Branch 301-763-7699 michael.j.flaherty@census.gov.

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