Research and development (R&D)

Period: Annual
Year: 2018

01. Contact
02. Metadata update
03. Statistical presentation
04. Unit of measure
05. Reference Period
06. Institutional Mandate
07. Confidentiality
08. Release policy
09. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy and reliability
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment

01. ContactTop
01.1. Contact organisation

Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia

01.2. Contact organisation unit

Social statistics, Unit for statistics of education, science nd culture

01.3. Contact name

Sunčica Stefanović Šestić

01.4. Contact person function

Head of Unit

01.5. Contact mail address


11050 Belgrade,

Milana Rakica 5

01.6. Contact email address

01.7. Contact phone number

+381 11 2410414

+381 62 8827522

01.8. Contact fax number


02. Metadata updateTop
02.1. Metadata last certified
02.2. Metadata last posted
02.3. Metadata last update

03. Statistical presentationTop
03.1. Data description

Data are collected on the basis of the statistical survey: "Annual Report on Research and Development", which is conducted on the basis of the Law on Official Statistics ("Official Gazette of RS", No. 104/2009) and according to international legislation: Decision no. 1608/2003 / EC and Regulation no. 995/2012.

Data on research and development were collected by regular annual survey since 1965. Since 2007, the applied methodology has been harmonized with the international: Fraction Manual. The survey includes: all research and development organizations, regardless of whether it is their main activity or not. The basic source of data is the accounting records of costs and investments made in research and development. The annual report on research and experimental development provides data on resources (revenues, expenditures and investments) by type of research, sources of financing and purposes, and data for human capital as well.All data is available by type of research organization, according to fields of science, type of research activity, type of employment and lenght of working hours of employees, level of economic activities (KD2010 = NACE2) and according to the territorial principe (to the level of NSTJ2).

03.2. Classification system

Standard classifications are used:

• KD - Classification of activities that corresponds to international NACE Rev.2 classification (Statistical classification of economic activities)

• NSTJ - National Classification of Statistical Territorial Units, which corresponds to the international NUTS classification

• FOS - Classification of Scientific Areas (Fields of Science)

• NABS - Nomenclature for Analysis and Comparison of Scientific Programs and Budgets (GBAORD)

• ISCED - International Standard Classification of Education 

03.3. Coverage - sector

The survey covers all sectors: business sector, government sector, higher education sector, private - non - profit sector and abroad sector.

Collection of data on research and development activities of state institutes and tertiary education institutions is on full coverage (all faculties/academies, regardless of ownership status, all institutes, whether they are scientific research or development). Collection of data on research activities of business entities and non-profit organizations/associations was on the information from the final accounts.

03.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The statistical unit can have its own funds within the organization or funds from external sources (intramural and extramural expenditures).

Definition: The funds invested in research and development are grouped into two main categories: one represents current costs and other investment costs. Within current expenses there is an additional division into the sub-categories of "labor costs and employee benefits" and "other running costs". Date categories and subcategories are further classified into a class of costs. The sub-category of "gross earnings of researchers" does not enter into the sum of everything, as it is a part of the gross salary of all employees in IR activities.

IR labor costs represent the largest item in current expenses. Other current expenses include non-investment investments in materials and equipment required for IR within one year. Additional costs and costs of administrative staff are accounted for in this group of costs, but they should be reduced for non-IR activities. Staff costs also include expenditure on social and pension funds of IR staff. The costs of indirect services are also included, whether they originate from the same reporting unit or not (costs of storage, repair and maintenance of premises, printing of reports, etc.).

Investment costs are the total annual real estate costs that are used for IR for the reporting unit. They are stated in full for the period in which they were incurred and do not contain in themselves an element of depreciation. They consist of: costs of land and buildings, as well as the cost of instruments and equipment. Costs for land and buildings: land refers to what is needed for an IR (land for testing, for laboratories and pilot plants) and for buildings intended for some improvements, modifications and repairs. The proportion of these costs is difficult to determine and the estimation method is used. The subcategory "for imported machinery and equipment" in investment costs does not fall into the sum of investment costs, as it represents part of total investments in machinery and equipment.

Sector of performance is determined according to the division of the economic activity in which R&D is performed. There are five sectors: - Business sector covers business entities and organisations which primary activity is the market production of goods and services, and their sale at economically significant prices. - This sector includes also private non‐profit organisations, as well as incorporated R&D units. - Government sector    includes organisations, department offices and other bodies furnishing common services, other than tertiary education, which cannot be provided under market conditions and reflects the economical and social policy of the society. By definition, this sector covers: activities of the administration, defence and public order; health, education, culture, recreation and other social services; promotion of economic growth and living standard, and technological development. The legal, executive and institutional structure should be included in this sector, whether these are funded from regular or extraordinary budget.     - Non‐profit sector covers non‐market, private non‐profit organisation serving households free of charge or at low cost. These organisations may be created by citizens’ associations in order to provide goods and services to the members of the association or for general purposes. This sector includes professional associations, humanitarian organisations, trade associations, consumers’ associations, etc. Research and development, 2016 9 - Tertiary education sector covers universities, faculties and academies, whatever their funding sources and legal status. This sector includes R&D institutes and clinics operating under the direct control of or administered by the tertiary education organisation.   - Sector “abroad” covers organisations and individuals located beyond the political boundaries of the country, as well as related land owned by these organisations. It also includes all international organisations, including their facilities on the national territory. Personnel: - Researcher is a person with at least tertiary educational attainment, i.e. having at least completed undergraduate academic studies and who is engaged in R&D work and holding the title pursuant to the Law. Depending on realised results in R&D, the researcher can acquire the research title: researcher‐apprentice and researcher‐ associate, and the scientific title: senior scientific associate and scientific advisor. - Assistant‐researchers do not hold any research title; work directly with researchers in carrying out professional or technical works relative to R&D (laboratory technicians, engineers and technicians of technical sciences, designers, librarians, information assistant, computer experts, language editors, etc.). - Administrators carry out exclusively or predominantly organisational, clerical, legal, administrative or financial work (treasurer, secretaries, jurists, etc.). - Other personnel carry out supporting activities in R&D organisations (employed in workshops, on agricultural land, couriers, switchboard operators, maintenance workers, drivers, suppliers, etc.).   - Excluded are personnel engaged in protection and security, restaurants, hygiene maintenance, and related (guards, desk clerks, charwomen, etc.). R&D projects and studies: shown are works completed from 1st January to 31st December, whatever their beginning. Works not being ordered by ordering parties are excluded. ‐ Basic research is a creative, systematic activity focused on acquiring new knowledge on the origin and causes of phenomena and facts, without any particular application or use in view. The results of a basic research are often formulated as general principles, theories or rules. ‐ Applied research is undertaken whether to establish a possibility to use the results of a research, having in mind its practical application, or to find new methods or ways that facilitate the achievement of a particular objective set in advance.  This survey starts from existing knowledge and examines it thoroughly in view of solving specific issues. ‐  Experimental (development) research is a creative systematic activity based on the results of the basic and applied research, and practical knowledge directed towards introducing new materials, products, devices, processes and methods. Inventions and patents: an invention is a new technological solution to a specific problem that involves inventiveness and applicability. A patent is the right that protects an invention. Patent and patent rights are acquired after recognition and registration of a granted right in the corresponding register. Industry classification according to R&D intensity (based on OECD standards): high technology, medium‐high technology, medium‐low technology and low technology.



03.5. Statistical unit

The population of the research and unit of observation of the statistical survey are all organisations engaged in the R&D activity, whether the latter is the principal activity or not.

Scientific research organization: faculty, academy, institute, research unit of the company, business entity, association and others.


03.6. Statistical population

The reporting units of the survey are: - R&D institutes and institutes of national interest for the Republic of Serbia; independent R&D organisations, business entities and institutions which principal or predominant activity is R&D. - R&D units incorporated in enterprises or institutions. - Tertiary educational institutions (faculties and arts academies), which activity, pursuant to the Law, is education and R&D‐related, have been covered by this survey since 1978; 8 Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia - Non‐profit organisations – associations engaged in this activity. Excluded are R&D organisations created by the Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Defence. The new Law on the R&D Activity anticipates the monitoring of these organisations.

The sector in which research and development is carried out is determined by activity. There are five sectors:

- The business sector includes business entities and organizations whose primary activity is the market production of goods and services and their sale at economic prices. This sector also includes some non-profit organizations, as well as R & D organizational units.

- The government sector includes organizations, departments and other bodies and bodies providing common services (except tertiary education), which can not be provided under market conditions and reflect the economic and social policies of society. By definition, this sector includes: activities of administration, defense and public order; Health, education, culture, recreation and other social services;

Promote economic growth and living standards, as well as technological development. The legal, executive and institutional structure is included in this sector, whether financed from a regular or special budget.

- Tertiary education sector includes universities, faculties and academies, regardless of their sources of funding and legal status. This sector includes research and development institutes and clinics that operate under the direct control and management of higher education organizations.

- The non-profit sector covers non-market, private non-profit organizations. These organizations can start citizen associations to provide goods or services to members of the association or in general. This sector includes professional associations, humanitarian organizations, trade associations, consumer associations, etc.

- The "abroad" sector includes organizations and individuals located outside the country's political borders, as well as the associated land owned by these organizations. It also includes all international organizations, including their facilities in the national territory.

03.7. Reference area

Republic of Serbia (without data for Kosovo and Metohija)

03.8. Coverage - Time

The calendar year.  The main data sources are: human resources records on employees appointed to R&D, accounting records on realised receipts and calculated investments in R&D, as well as records of specialised services on the result of R&D activities – projects, works, patents pending, etc. 

03.9. Base period

Not applicable

04. Unit of measureTop
04. Unit of measure

Funds are presented in thousands of RSD. The data on employed staff and researchers relate to persons (shown as natural persons and as full-time equivalent).

05. Reference PeriodTop
05. Reference Period

The calendar year. 

06. Institutional MandateTop
06.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

National legislation


The Official Statistics Law („Official Gazette of the RS“, No. 104/09) specifies the legal framework for the production and dissemination of official statistics and also for the organization of the system of official statistics of the Republic of Serbia. Nevertheless, the Official Statistics Law, together with the five-year Statistical Programme over the period 2016 – 2020 and the annual implementation plans, provides the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia (SORS) with a clear and broad legal mandate to collect and access the data needed for the execution of the Statistical Programme and the Implementation Plan.

In addition, pursuant to Article 18, paragraph 2 of the Law on Official Statistics (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No 104/09) and Article 42, paragraph 1 of the Law on Government Administration (“Official Gazette of the RS” No 55/05, 71/05‐corrigendum, 101/07, 65/08 and 16/11), the Government adopts every year a regulation that defines the plan for official statistics.

EU legislation

Decision No. 1608/2003/European Commission and Regulation no. 995/2012 European Parliament and Council.

06.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

The Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia has an agreement on cooperation with a large number of organizations and institutions, both nationally and internationally, with which it exchanges information, data and experiences.

There is also intensive cooperation between different organizational units within the Institute itself.

07. Confidentiality Top
07.1. Confidentiality - policy

Pursuant to Article 46 of the Law on Official Statistics (“Official Gazette of RS”, number 104/09), Articles 7 and 35 of the Law on Government Administration (“Official Gazette of RS ”, No 79/05 and 101/07) and Articles 9, 15, 16  and 18 of the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Interest (“Official Gazette of RS”, No120/04, 54 /07 104/09 and 36/10 ), Director of the SORS hereby adopt Rulebook on statistical data protection in the statistical office of the Republic of Serbia. The Rulebook lays down the measures to be implemented so as to protect data and information in the SORS.

In addition, Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

07.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

The protection of secret data and documents shall be done in accordance with the Law on Data Secrecy. Confidential data from Article 3 of the Rulebook are considered official secret and cannot be published or communicated, that is, they cannot be part of aggregated data from which individual data can be identified. Individual data can be given only to the owner of those data. Only the employees of the Office authorized by decision of the Director of the Office shall have access to confidential data from administrative sources.

Also, if SORS transmits data with a confidentiality flag or an embargo date, these data are not disseminated until the confidentiality flag is lifted in a subsequent data transmission or the embargo expired.

08. Release policyTop
08.1. Release calendar

The data are available on the last day of June in the Press release on the website of the Institute, according to the official calendar of data publishing.    

08.2. Release calendar access

External users can find the exact date of publication in the blackout calendar located on the Institute's website.

08.3. Release policy - user access

External users can find information in the Bulletin on the SORS's website.

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

09. Frequency of disseminationTop
09. Frequency of dissemination


10. Accessibility and clarityTop
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

Not available

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Bulletin: "Scientific Research in the Republic of Serbia"

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Database on SORS and Eurostat website. 


10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Available at the request of international organizations, researchers, etc. The request must be sent to the dissemination group (to the official email address: ) which will start the process of creating a cooperation agreement after receiving the approval of the top management.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not available

10.6. Documentation on methodology

Abbreviated methodology on the web site of the SORS. , and the ESS Metadata Handler 

10.7. Quality management - documentation

The ESS Metadata Handler

11. Quality managementTop
11.1. Quality assurance

Quality is provided by strict implementation of definitions and conceptual frameworks of European Statistics, Fractional methodology and through validation of data. Major deviations and inconsistencies were not observed.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

Data are collected from reliable sources applying standards with regard to the OECD methodology and ensuring a high degree of comparability across countries. 

12. Relevance Top
12.1. User needs

The main beneficiary is the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, which is the main source of funds from the budget allocated to science. Also beneficiaries are international institutions and scientists/researchers.

No specific research was conducted on the needs of users

12.2. User satisfaction

No specific research was conducted on the satisfaction of users

12.3. Completeness

Annual reports on IR funds provide a complete and consistent presentation of investment in science, in accordance with Eurostat requirements. Also, data on scientific workers - researchers are fully in line with Eurostat requirements.

13. Accuracy and reliabilityTop
13.1. Overall accuracy


13.2. Sampling error

Not applicable

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not applicable

14. Timeliness and punctualityTop
14.1. Timeliness

According to the Transmission Programme, annual data should be transmitted to Eurostat within 6 months after the end of the reference year, as previous data (t+6), and t+12 month, as final data.

14.2. Punctuality

The SORS submits the data within the prescribed time limit.

15. Coherence and comparabilityTop
15.1. Comparability - geographical

The comparability is ensured by the application of common definitions and methodological framework based on internationally methodologies and standards.

15.2. Comparability - over time

The data have been available since 2007 and the comparison is feasible because there is no deviation from the proposed international methodology.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Indicators are coherent with macroeconomic indicators.

15.4. Coherence - internal

Not applicable

16. Cost and BurdenTop
16. Cost and Burden

Not available

17. Data revisionTop
17.1. Data revision - policy

National data on investments are revised according to national schedule. General Revision policy as an official document is available on the SORS website. Revised data are available at SORS online database as soon as they become validated.


17.2. Data revision - practice

The published data should be regarded as final, unless otherwise stated. Corrections and revisions might occur.

Major changes in methodology are usually announced in advance and users are informed of revisions and major changes in methodology on the SORS website.


18. Statistical processingTop
18.1. Source data

The main data sources are: human resources records on employees appointed to R&D, accounting records on realised receipts and calculated investments in R&D, as well as records of specialised services on the result of R&D activities – projects, works, patents pending, etc.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

The data are collected in the annual periodical

18.3. Data collection

The survey is conducted as obligatory. he Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, with the help of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, prepares and carries out the survey on R&D organisations. 10 Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia The Office defines and produces uniform methodological basis and tools for the survey, compiles address records of reporting units, prints the questionnaires and other materials for the carrying out of the survey, sends the questionnaires to the reporting units, collects the questionnaires, controls the coverage, response accuracy and data completeness, transmit data electronically, makes calculation and logical controls, processes the data and publishes the results for the Republic of Serbia in the “Statistical Yearbook of Serbia”, as well as in this bulletin.

Questionnaires are sent by post or in electronic form to the reporting units at the end of March of the current year (n) for the reference year (n-1).

The survey is conducted annually and the questionnaires are sent to reporting units. Three questionnaires are used for that purpose, the first relating to business entities and centres of extraordinary values (technology and business incubators, science and technology parks), the second to faculties and institutes, and the third to non‐profit organisations – associations. The reporting units fill in the R&D questionnaire in March of the current year, and data refer to the previous (reference) year, i.e. they are shown as of the end of the reference year. Data on the R&D activity are collected on full coverage: all faculties/academies, whatever the ownership, all R&D institutes, business entities and non‐profit organisations/associations. All data on the number of R&D organisations and employees are shown as of 31 December of the reference year, while those on R&D works, receipts and expenditure refer to the whole year.

18.4. Data validation

Data for science are checked for accuracy and completeness. Transmitted figures are screened both internally, by SORS and externally, by Eurostat.  

18.5. Data compilation

Not applicable

18.6. Adjustment

Not applicable

19. CommentTop
19. Comment

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