Statistics Canada
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Science Statistics

March 2007 edition


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Research and development in the health field 1989 to 2006 (preliminary)

  1. Spending on research and development on health last year accounted for nearly one-quarter of total spending on R&D in Canada, according to preliminary data (table 1-1 ).
  2. Total spending on research and development in the field sector hit an estimated $6.6 billion in 2006, up 6.8% over the previous year. This represented just over 23% of total spending on R&D, up from 17% in 1996 (table 1-1 ).
  3. The higher education sector performed 63% of all R&D in the health field, the largest share. In 2006, this sector, which includes universities and teaching hospitals, performed an estimated $4.1 billion worth of health R&D, a 10.0% increase from the previous year (table 1-2 ).
  4. Business enterprises, a distant second to the higher education sector, performed an estimated $2.1 billion in health R&D, up 2.5%. Business enterprises accounted for about a third of the total (table 1-2 ).
  5. In terms of funding, universities overtook business enterprises as the largest funder of health R&D, spending just over $1.8 billion in 2006. Business enterprises spent $1.7 billion, and the federal government $1.2 billion (table 1-2 ).
  6. Private non-profit organizations more than doubled their funding for health R&D from $242 million in 1999 to $533 million in 2006 (table 1-2 ).
  7. On a regional basis, universities and teaching hospitals in Ontario and Quebec performed 73% of total R&D spending on health in 2004, the most recent year for which regional information is available. The higher education sector in the Atlantic provinces collectively accounted for 4.3% (table 1-3 ).