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Alexander Chute Economist
Tel: 902-424-5810Email:

January 30, 2018

Today, Statistics Canada released  gross domestic expenditures on research and development (GERD), for actual spending in 2015 at the provincial level and 2016 (preliminary) and 2017 (intentions) at national level.

Spending on research and development, 2017 (intentions)
Canada's expenditures on research and development declined from $32.9 billion to $32.7 billion in 2016. The intentions for 2017 are for an increase of 0.5 per cent to $32.8 billion. Intentions are for lower research and development expenditure by government and increases in higher education and business.

Characteristics of research and development spending, 2015 (actual)

Ontario accounted for 44.0 per cent of Canada's GERD in 2015 with the business enterprise sector in the province accounting for half of expenditures in the province. Quebec accounted for 26 per cent and Alberta and British Columbia each represent 11 per cent. As a share of gross domestic product (GDP), research and development expenditures were largest in Quebec at 2.21 per cent and Ontario at 1.89 per cent. Nova Scotia GERD as a percentage of GDP was 1.50 per cent in 2015, the third highest among the provinces. Nationally, 1.65 per cent of GDP is spent on research and development compared to 2.79 per cent in the United States and 3.29 per cent in Japan (highest among OECD countries).


In 2015, Nova Scotia gross domestic expenditures were $609 million with $415 million performed by the higher education sector, $156 million by the business enterprise sector, and $38 million by governments and non-profits.

Research and development expenditures increased 3.0 per cent in Nova Scotia compared to 2014. The funder of the research and development expnenditures  were the business enterprise sector ($137 million), higher education ($244 million), government/non-profit ($204 million) and the foreign sector ($24 million).


Spending on research and development, 2017 (intentions)

CANSIM 358-0001

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