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The researchers and developers

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Scientific researchers and technicians are in demand. From 1980 to 2004, the number of full-time researchers, technicians and support staff engaged in R&D in Canada grew 140%, from 83,000 to 199,000. The number of researchers more than tripled; the number of technicians nearly doubled.

Canada has 7.2 researchers per 1,000 workers—above the OECD average of 6.9. The United States has 9.6 per 1,000 workers, and Japan has the highest, 10.4 per 1,000.

Natural sciences and engineering attract by far the most R&D employees—almost 90% of researchers, technicians and support staff in 2004. Business enterprises employed 73%, higher education institutions, 18% and federal and provincial governments, 9%.

At postsecondary institutions, R&D spending climbed from $5.1 billion in 1999 to $9.0 billion in 2004. The number of R&D personnel in higher education surged 6% from 2003 to 2004. Since 2002, Canada’s ranks of R&D personnel in higher education have grown slightly faster than in many OECD countries.

The concentration of R&D personnel across Canada reflects regional spending patterns. Ontario and Quebec are home to most of Canada’s research facilities. These provinces accounted for 76% of all R&D personnel in 2004. About 10% of R&D personnel worked in British Columbia that year, while another 7% worked in Alberta.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, two out of three R&D personnel work in the higher education and private non-profit sectors, as do one out of two in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The majority (62% to 70%) of R&D personnel in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia work in the business sector.