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Research and development of Canadian private non-profit organizations, 2017 (final)

Released: 2019-02-06

Private non-profit in-house research and development

$142 million

2019

-12.9% decrease

(annual change)

In-house research and development spending intentions, 2018 and 2019

Private non-profit organizations plan to spend less on in-house research and development (R&D) in 2019. Their spending intentions decreased 13% to $142 million from revised intentions of $164 million in 2018.

Current in-house R&D expenditures for 2019, consisting primarily of wages and salaries, represent the largest portion of these spending intentions at $140 million, down from the revised intentions of $161 million in 2018.

Research and development activities in 2017 

Spending on in-house research and development increases in 2017

Private non-profit organizations' spending on in-house R&D activities increased from $156 million in 2016 to $175 million in 2017. Current in-house R&D activities accounted for 98% of this spending in 2017.

R&D spending on wages and salaries rose 14% to $97 million in 2017. The number of R&D personnel employed by private non-profit organizations reflected this growth, increasing from 970 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in 2016 to 1,315 FTEs in 2017.

These organizations employed more of all categories of R&D professionals in 2017. The number of R&D scientists, social scientists, engineers and researchers rose from 583 FTEs in 2016 to 631 FTEs in 2017. Meanwhile, the number of R&D technicians, technologists, research staff and support staff grew from 343 FTEs to 556 FTEs.

The number of on-site contractors also increased, from 43 FTEs in 2016 to 128 FTEs in 2017. In tandem, spending on services to support R&D activities, including costs for on-site contractors who perform specialized project based R&D work under the supervision and direction of the contracting organization, increased from $13 million in 2016 to $20 million in 2017.

Total capital R&D in-house expenditures fell from $8 million in 2016 to $4 million in 2017.

Outsourcing of research and development continues to rise in 2017

Private non-profit organizations' spending on outsourced R&D activities (activities that are contracted or granted out) edged up from $516 million in 2016 to $527 million in 2017. Payments made to organizations outside of Canada for outsourced R&D activities more than doubled, from $8 million in 2016 to $21 million in 2017. R&D activities contracted or granted out to other organizations operating within Canada was constant at $507 million.

Research and development spending focuses on medical and health sciences

In 2017, private non-profit organizations continued to concentrate their in-house R&D activities in the medical and health science fields, spending $87 million, down 13% from 2016. Spending on R&D in this area has been trending downward since 2014.

Chart 1  Chart 1: In-house research and development (R&D) expenditures of private non-profit organizations by field of R&D
In-house research and development (R&D) expenditures of private non-profit organizations by field of R&D

Government continues to provide the majority of funding for in-house research and development

Federal, provincial and territorial governments were the primary source of funding for in-house R&D activities performed by private non-profit organizations, providing $91 million in 2017, up 33% from the previous year.

Notably, private non-profit organizations increased funding of their own in-house R&D activities by 27% to $38 million in 2017.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Sources of funding for in-house research and development by private non-profit organizations in 2017
Sources of funding for in-house research and development by private non-profit organizations in 2017

In-house research and development activities are concentrated in Ontario and British Columbia

In 2017, British Columbia's private non-profit organizations continued to report volatility, as their in-house R&D expenditures fell 42% to $13 million. Spending on in-house R&D activities in Ontario increased 28% to $127 million.

  Note to readers

Private non-profit organizations provide services to households either without charge or at prices that are not economically significant. For purposes of measuring research and development (R&D) performance, private non-profit organizations include voluntary health organizations, private philanthropic foundations and private research institutes.

The private non-profit sector is residual in nature. Private non-profit organizations that are controlled and financed by government (at least 50%) or affiliated to higher education institutions are excluded from the survey population. R&D expenditures for these excluded private non-profit organizations are included in the R&D expenditures for the government and higher education sectors. Control over private non-profit organizations may change over time causing volatility within the sector's population.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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