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Research and development personnel

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The Daily

Tuesday, May 6, 2008
1996 to 2005

The growth in the number of people engaged in research and development (R&D) in Canada, such as researchers, technicians and supporting staff, slowed down considerably in 2005.

In 2005, 213,930 full-time equivalent researchers, technicians, and other support personnel were engaged in R&D activities, up 3.8% from the previous year. This was well below the increase of 6.7% in 2003.

The number of these individuals increased by 48.8% between 1996 and 2005, largely the result of increased employment of researchers in the business enterprise sector.

Together, the business enterprise and higher education sectors employed 8 of every 10 new researchers in 2005.

Researchers accounted for 63% of all the personnel engaged in R&D in Canada in 2005. However, only three provinces had higher proportions than the national average: British Columbia, where researchers accounted for 70%, Alberta (66%) and Ontario (64%).

The proportion of personnel engaged in R&D in the business enterprise sector increased from 55% in 1996 to 64% in 2005.

On the other hand, during the same period, the share in the higher education sector declined from 32% in 1996 to 27% in 2005. This was a reflection of the more robust increase in the number of R&D personnel in the business enterprise sector.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers, including related surveys, 4201, 4204, 4208, 4209, 4210, 4212 and 5109.

The service bulletin Science Statistics, Vol. 32, no. 1 (88-001-XWE, free) is now available from the Publications module of our website.

For more detailed information, or to enquire about the methods, concepts or data quality of this release, contact Michael Lynch, (613-951-2201; or Louise Earl, (613-951-2880;, Science, Innovation and Electronic Information Division.