Spending on research and development

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2011 (intentions) (Previous release)

Canada's gross domestic expenditures on research and development (R&D) are anticipated to amount to $29.9 billion in 2011, a 2.0% increase from preliminary R&D expenditures for 2010.

The 2011 intentions suggest recovery is underway after two years of declining R&D expenditures. However, total R&D spending intentions are still below the $30.5 billion spent in 2008.

Much of the recovery in 2011 should occur in the business enterprise sector, Canada's largest R&D performing sector. For the past decade, the two leading performing sectors, business enterprise and higher education, have represented about 90% of total spending on R&D.

In 2011, business enterprises project they will spend $15.6 billion on R&D, up 5.0% from the previous year. Spending in this sector would account for 52% of total spending on R&D in 2011, down from 62% a decade earlier.

The higher education sector projects spending of $11.3 billion, up 1%. This sector's spending continues to experience steady, though modest, annual increases.

The federal government, the third-largest performing sector, projects spending $2.5 billion on R&D in 2011, down 10.3% from 2010.

The remaining R&D performing sectors—provincial governments, provincial research organizations and private non-profit organizations—are anticipated to spend $481 million on R&D in 2011.

In terms of R&D funding, the rankings are similar. In 2011, the business enterprise sector projects funding at $14.2 billion, the federal government sector at $5.8 billion and the higher education sector at $5.2 billion.

Funding also includes the foreign sector, which is anticipated to provide $2.1 billion in funds on R&D in 2011.

Note: Data on gross domestic spending for research and development (R&D) are performance-based. Intramural R&D expenditures are spent within organizations performing the R&D. The organizations can fund their own R&D or undertake R&D on behalf of other organizations. The R&D performing organizations indicate both the amount spent on intramural R&D as well as the source of funds by financing sector for this spending. These source of funds data become the funding sectors' measure of R&D financing.

Available on CANSIM: table 358-0001.

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

The publication Gross Domestic Expenditures on Research and Development in Canada and the Provinces, national estimates for 2001 to 2011 and provincial estimates for 2005 to 2009, Vol. 4, no. 1 (88-221-X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.

For more information, or to enquire about the methods, concepts or data quality of this release, contact Cindy Carter (613-951-1856; cindy.carter@statcan.gc.ca) or Louise Earl (613-951-2880; louise.earl@statcan.gc.ca), Business Special Surveys and Technology Statistics Division.