Data Check: Higher education still leads the R&D Charge

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Who drives innovation in Canada and Ontario? When it comes to research and development, higher education – fuelled by public dollars – leads the way.
 
According to Statistics Canada, the number of people engaged in research and development (R&D) in Canada rose by almost 67,000 between 2000 and 2009. Ontario accounted for 27,000 of those added positions. During the same period, the constant dollar value of R&D expenditures grew proportionately less – by 18 per cent for Canada and six per cent for Ontario.
 
Across Canada and in Ontario, the business sector contributed the most to employment growth, but its 2009 research and development expenditures fell to levels at or below what they were in 2000. The predictable result is a 30 to 37 per cent decline in the R&D expenditures per person by business.
 
Higher education provided the second biggest boost to R&D personnel numbers. Moreover, in Canada and Ontario, R&D expenditures in higher education rose faster than the number of researchers, technicians and support staff contributing to the effort. Thanks to higher education institutions, research and development expenditures per person in Canada and Ontario climbed 10 per cent above the 2000 level.
 
Statistics Canada: Research and development personnel, 2009; Spending on research and development

This article originally appeared in the OCUFA Report. To receive stories like this every week in your inbox, please subscribe.

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