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Research and development personnel, 2013

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Released: 2016-01-12

There were 226,620 full-time equivalent personnel working in research and development (R&D) in Canada in 2013, down 2.0% from 2012. The overall decrease in R&D personnel was largely attributable to the business enterprise sector.

Every performing sector except higher education (+4.8%) and private non-profit organizations (+4.3%) recorded a decline in R&D personnel in 2013.

The business enterprise sector (58.4%) continued to account for the largest share of total R&D full-time equivalents in 2013, followed by the higher education (33.0%) and federal government (6.8%) sectors.

All occupational categories posted declines in the number of R&D full-time equivalents in 2013: support staff (-4.2%), technicians (-2.7%) and researchers (-1.5%).

There were fewer R&D personnel in seven provinces in 2013, with Ontario and Quebec contributing the most to the overall decline. These decreases were partially offset by gains in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

  Note to readers

Research and development (R&D) personnel counts are reported as full-time equivalents. Full-time equivalent is a measure of the time actually devoted to R&D. An employee who is engaged in R&D for half a year has a full-time equivalence of 0.5.

R&D personnel encompass a variety of occupations that are classified into three categories according to the Frascati Manual (2002): researchers, technicians and support staff.

Researchers generally include scientists and engineers who engage in the conception and creation of knowledge, products, processes, methods and systems.

Technicians are individuals whose main tasks require technical knowledge and experience in R&D-related fields such as engineering or physical and life sciences.

Support staff encompass skilled and unskilled craftsmen, as well as secretarial and clerical staff that participate in R&D projects.

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