Spending on research and development, 2012 (intentions)

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Gross domestic expenditures on research and development (R&D) are anticipated to amount to $30.0 billion in 2012, up 0.3% from 2011.

The 2012 R&D intentions show a gradual recovery from the most recent economic downturn. While total R&D spending intentions are below the $30.8 billion peak in 2008, they are 28% higher than the $23.5 billion spent in 2002.

In 2012, business enterprises expect to spend $15.5 billion on R&D, up 0.9% from the previous year but 6.9% below the pre-recession peak. This anticipated expenditure accounts for 52% of total spending on R&D, down from 58% a decade earlier, illustrating this sector's reduced presence in R&D activities.

The higher education sector's R&D spending intentions are $11.5 billion, maintaining its position as the second largest R&D performing sector. Since 2002, R&D expenditures in this sector have increased almost 55%.

The federal government, the third largest performing sector, anticipates R&D spending at $2.5 billion, down 7.3% from 2011. This decline represents a return to more normal levels, as a result of the conclusion of federal stimulus spending. From 2002 to 2012, federal R&D expenditures on R&D increased 13.0%.

The remaining R&D performing sectors (provincial governments, provincial research organizations and private non-profit organizations) are expected to spend $547 million. This combined group's R&D expenditures are anticipated to increase 7.5% from 2011 and 58.6% from 2002.

For R&D funding, the business enterprise sector is expected to fund $14.1 billion in 2012, followed by the federal government sector at $5.8 billion and the higher education sector at $5.4 billion. The business enterprise sector and the higher education sector anticipate increases of 1.0% over 2011 R&D funding levels while the federal government sector anticipates a 3.1% decline. In comparison, provincial governments and provincial research organizations expect their R&D funding to increase by 2.8% to $1.7 billion in 2012.

Funding for R&D also includes the foreign sector, which is anticipated to provide $2.0 billion, up 1.8% from 2011.

Canada's gross domestic expenditures on research and development as a percentage of its gross domestic product for 2011 was 1.74. In 2010, Canada ranked fifth among the G8 countries with a ratio of 1.85.

Note to readers

Data on gross domestic spending for research and development (R&D) are performance-based. Intramural R&D expenditures are spent within organizations performing the R&D. The organizations can fund their own R&D or undertake R&D on behalf of other organizations. The R&D performing organizations indicate both the amount spent on intramural R&D as well as the source of funds by financing sector for this spending. These source of funds data become the funding sectors' measure of R&D financing.

Available without charge in CANSIM: table CANSIM table358-0001.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers survey number4201, survey number4204, survey number4208, survey number4209, survey number4210, survey number4212 and survey number5109.

The publication Gross Domestic Expenditures on Research and Development in Canada (GERD) and the Provinces, national estimates for 2002 to 2012 and provincial estimates for 2006 to 2010, Vol. 5, no. 1 (Catalogue number88-221-X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website, under Publications.

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; infostats@statcan.gc.ca).

To enquire about the methods, concepts or data quality of this release, contact Catherine ten Den (613-951-2188; catherine.tenden@statcan.gc.ca) or Cindy Carter (613-951-1856; cindy.carter@statcan.gc.ca), Investment Science and Technology Division.