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Research and development in the health field

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2008 and 2009 (intentions) and 1998 to 2007 (actual) (Previous release)

Spending intentions on research and development (R&D) in the health field were $6.4 billion in 2009, virtually unchanged from 2008 in current dollars.

R&D spending on health continues to account for about one-fifth of total gross domestic expenditures on R&D.

Intentions for 2009 cover both the amount of money each sector spent on R&D in health and the amount that it funded such spending. The higher education sector continued to lead both health R&D performance, spending $4.1 billion, and health R&D funding at $1.8 billion.

Business enterprises were in second place. They spent $1.9 billion on R&D in health and provided $1.5 billion in funding.

The higher education sector accounted for 64% of all health R&D performed in Canada in 2009, up from 55% in 1998. Over the same period, the proportion for the business enterprise sector declined from 38% to 30%.

In 2009, the same two sectors accounted for half of total health R&D funding, with higher education accounting for 27% and business enterprise 23%.

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

The service bulletin Science Statistics, Vol. 34, no. 3 (88-001-X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Michael Lynch (613-951-2201; or Cindy Carter (613-951-1856;, Business Special Surveys and Technology Statistics Division.