Glossary:Business enterprise sector - R & D - Statistics Explained

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Glossary:Business enterprise sector - R & D

The business enterprise sector includes:

  • all firms, organisations and institutions whose primary activity is the market production of goods or services (other than higher education) for sale to the general public at an economically significant price, and
  • the private non-profit institutes mainly serving them.

The core of the sector is made up of private enterprises (corporations or quasi-corporations) whether or not they distribute profit. Among these enterprises may be found some firms for which R&D is the main activity (commercial R&D institutes and laboratories). Any private enterprises producing higher education services should be included in the higher education sector.

In addition, this sector includes public enterprises (public corporations and quasi-corporations owned by government units) mainly engaged in market production and sale of the kind of goods and services which are often produced by private enterprises, although, as a matter of policy, the price set for these may be less than the full cost of production.

This sector also includes non-profit institutions (NPIs) who are market producers of goods and services other than higher education.

Related concepts

Statistical data


  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), "Frascati Manual 2002: The measurement of scientific and technological activities - Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development", OECD, Paris, 2002 - pdf