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