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Science Statistics

October 2007 edition


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Scientific and Technological (S&T) activities of Provincial Governments and Provincial Research Organizations, 2001/2002 to 2005/2006

The 2005/2006 preliminary science and technology (S&T) expenditures for the provincial governments of Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia indicate that this spending is increasing (table 3-1 ).

The provinces allocate their S&T expenditures by socio-economic objectives. These objectives are:

  1. Exploration and exploitation of the earth
  2. Infrastructure and general planning of land use
  3. Control and care of the environment
  4. Protection and improvement of human health
  5. Production, distribution and rational utilization of energy
  6. Agriculture production and technology
  7. Fishing
  8. Forestry
  9. Industrial production and technology
  10. Social development
  11. Exploration and exploitation of space
  12. Basic research
  13. Other civil research

In 2005/2006, total expenditures on scientific activities by the four provinces varied by objectives. For all four provinces, protection and improvement of human health was ranked as one of the top three S&T expenditure objectives as determined by amount spent (table 5 ).

Manitoba alone amongst the four provinces did not indicate that basic research was in their top five spending priorities for S&T objectives based on amount spent. Manitoba’s primary focus for S&T expenditures was on social development followed by infrastructure and general planning of land use (table 5 ).

Alberta’s top five S&T expenditures by objective were protection and improvement of human health; basic research; production, distribution and rational utilization of energy, agriculture production and technology; and infrastructure and general planning of land use.

British Columbia’s priorities for S&T activities were concentrated in basic research and protection and improvement of human health. Ontario indicated that these two activities were also its most important priorities, along with social development (table 5 ).

For Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia total expenditures on their provincial governments’ science and technology activities are available. Scientific and technological (S&T) activities involve the generation, dissemination and application of new scientific and technological knowledge. The first component is research and experimental development (R&D). Related scientific activities (RSA) comprise the other component. S&T expenditures can also be categorized by science type, social sciences and the humanities and natural sciences and engineering and the report provides this information for the four provinces.

Provincial government research and development expenditures in the natural sciences and engineering are available for five provinces, Québec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. In 2005/2006, Albertan government led the five provinces in the amount it spent on intramural R&D in the natural sciences and engineering at $121.8 million whereas the Québec government funded the highest amount of R&D in the business enterprise sector, $25.1 million (table 3-5 ).

In 2005/2006, the provincial government of Alberta dedicated 674 full-time equivalents to its R&D activities in the natural sciences and engineering of which 104 worked on administering extramural programs for R&D. Québec’s provincial government followed with 540 full-time equivalents working on R&D activities in the natural sciences and engineering with 155 performing tasks related to administering extramural R&D programs (tables 12-3  and 12-4 ).

In 2005/2006 Québec showed an increase of 2% over the previous year to reach $423.9 million in R&D expenditures for the province (table 3-1 ).

Québec had more full-time equivalent scientists and professionals engaged in research and development than any other Canadian province with 441. Ontario followed with 289 followed by Alberta with 253 (table 13 ).

This report also presents the results of the S&T activities of Provincial Research Organizations (PRO).

In 2005/2006 total expenditures of provincial research organizations (PRO) on scientific activities reached over $72 million, an increase of 1.7% over the previous year (table 14 ).

More than 80% of Canada’s $72.0 million in S&T expenditures by provincial research organizations occurred in the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The PRO in Manitoba accounted for $32.1 million and for $26.2 million in Saskatchewan (table 14 ).

Canadian industrial contracts provided 43% of all funding for the scientific activities of the provincial research organizations, while provincial government contract, subsidies, grants and contributions provided 44 % of PRO funding.