Forestry and Forest Products Research Summary of Changes in Capacity 2008-2011
A desk-top analysis was undertaken of changes in forestry-based scientific research capacity since the last review of research expenditure (2008) was undertaken. The review used direct contacts and available information, previous reviews used the methodologies and definitions established by Quick and Booth in 1987, and both methodologies were reviewed.
Since 2008, the number of non-university scientists (employed by the Commonwealth and State Governments and private companies) has decreased from an estimated 251 to about 132. This may be lower if effective full-time equivalents are used rather than staff numbers. The number of technical staff has declined from 247 to 76, and support staff from 52 to 20. The reductions are primarily due to restructures within organisations, reductions in funding and the consequent loss of staff, private companies failing (e.g. MIS companies) and reduced research and development (R&D) expenditure. The impact of these reductions on various fields of expertise has not been evaluated in detail but it is obvious that forest products research has been greatly reduced.