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Spending on research and development in the higher education sector, 2013/2014

Released: 2015-07-29

Spending on research and development in the higher education sector

$12.7 billion

2013/2014

-1.8% 

(annual change)

Total expenditures on research and experimental development (R&D) in Canada's higher education sector fell by 1.8%, from $13.0 billion in 2012/2013 to $12.7 billion in 2013/2014.

Spending in the natural sciences and engineering field, which accounted for 76.6% of R&D expenditures in 2013/2014, decreased 2.8% from the previous year to $9.7 billion. In the social sciences and humanities, spending increased 1.5% to $3.0 billion.

R&D spending in the higher education sector was down in eight provinces in 2013/2014. The largest decline was in British Columbia, down $131.3 million, followed by Ontario (down $63.8 million) and Newfoundland and Labrador (down $58.6 million). Partially offsetting these declines was higher spending on R&D in Quebec (up $84.6 million) and Manitoba (up $37.9 million).

Overall, four of the six funding sources reduced their R&D funding in 2013/2014. The largest decrease in funding was posted by the provincial government sector, down $182.6 million or 13.4% to $1.2 billion, followed by the business enterprise sector, which declined by $83.1 million or 8.4% to $911 million in 2013/2014. Counterbalancing these declines was increased funding by the higher education sector itself, up 1.5% to $6.2 billion, and the foreign sector, up 16.0% to $149.7 million.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Spending on research and development in the higher education sector, by source of funding and science field, 2013/2014
Spending on research and development in the higher education sector, by source of funding and science field, 2013/2014

The higher education sector itself was the largest funder of R&D for each field of science. In 2013/2014, the sector itself funded 65.9% of total higher education sector R&D spending in social sciences and humanities and 43.9% in the natural sciences and engineering fields.

Provincially, Manitoba was the lone province that had no decrease in funding from all six funding sources for R&D in higher education sector in 2013/2014. In contrast, British Columbia was the lone province to record a decrease in funding of R&D in the higher education sector from all six funding sources.


  Note to readers

Expenditures on research and development in the higher education sector (HERD) concepts

The higher education sector is composed of universities and affiliated research hospitals, experimental stations and clinics.

Total expenditures on research and development (R&D) are classified into two fields of science: natural sciences and engineering, as well as social sciences and humanities.

There are six funding sources for R&D expenditures in the higher education sector: business enterprises, private non-profit organizations, the federal government, provincial governments, the foreign sector, and internal funding from the higher education sector itself.

Research and Development in the Higher Education Sector survey

The Research and Development in the Higher Education Sector survey was conducted in 2014/2015 to derive coefficients of time spent by faculty members on R&D activities by academic field of science. These new coefficients have been applied in Statistic Canada's HERD model for fiscal years 2012/2013 and 2013/2014. Data for previous years are not comparable.

For further information on concepts and definitions for HERD, click on the Related information tab for this release.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; mediahotline@statcan.gc.ca).

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