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Spending on industrial research and development (R&D) is anticipated to be $15.6 billion in 2013, down 2.8% from $16.1 billion in 2012. Industrial R&D spending increased from 2010 to 2012 but remains below its pre-recession peak of $16.8 billion in 2007 (table 1 and CANSIM 358-0024).

Manufacturing remains the leading R&D-performing sector, accounting for 47% of the total in 2013, or $7.3 billion. However, manufacturing’s share of total industrial R&D has declined from 68% in 2000 to 50% in 2007, and since 2008 has accounted for less than 50% of industrial R&D (CANSIM 358-0024). Total R&D expenditures by the manufacturing sector peaked in 2001 at $9.2 billion.

The service sector follows closely behind manufacturing, accounting for 45% of R&D expenditures, valued at $7.1 billion in 2013. In 2013, R&D performance in the service sector is concentrated in four industry groups. Scientific research and development services industry holds the largest share of anticipated R&D expenditures, $1.9 billion. Three other service industry groups each intend to spend more than $1 billion on R&D: computer systems design and related services, $1.3 billion; wholesale trade, $1.3 billion; and information and cultural industries, $1.2 billion (CANSIM 358-0024).

Over the past 25 years, the share of total industrial R&D performed by the firms with the largest R&D expenditures has declined. The share of the top 25 R&D performers has declined from 48% in 1989 to 33% in 2013 (table 4).

Among the provinces, Ontario accounted the greatest share of total intramural expenditures, 48% or $7.7 billion, in 2011, the most recent year for which provincial data are available. Businesses in Ontario also increased their R&D performance compared with 2010. Quebec had the second highest share of R&D performed, 29%, with almost no change in the dollar amounts, $4.7 billion in both 2010 and 2011. In 2011, the Atlantic provinces, except Prince Edward Island, had lower industrial R&D expenditures. In Western Canada, Manitoba and Saskatchewan posted small increases in industrial R&D spending while Alberta and British Columbia had small declines (table 5-2 and CANSIM 358-0161).

The number of personnel performing R&D was 140,423 in 2011, an increase of 0.1% from 2010 (table 8-4 and CANSIM 358-0024).

The engineering and technology major field of science or technology accounted for the largest share of R&D spending in 2011, at 76% (or $12.1 billion) of industrial R&D spending intentions. The other three major fields of science or technology comprised natural and formal sciences with R&D expenditures of $1.9 billion, medical and health sciences at $1.7 billion and agricultural sciences at $290 million (table 5-20 and CANSIM 358-0140).

The four detailed fields of biotechnology—medical biotechnology, environmental biotechnology, industrial biotechnology and agricultural biotechnology — performed $429 million worth of R&D in 2011. More than three-quarters of the biotechnology total, $335 million, was spent in medical biotechnology (table 5-20 and CANSIM 358-0140).

Energy-related R&D rose 15.2% from 2010 to 2011, from $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion. Fossil fuels R&D continued as the largest share of energy-related R&D, $1.2 billion in 2011, up 17.5% from $995 million in 2010 (table 13 and CANSIM 358-0214).

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