Canadian corporate R&D spending advances 4.1%

Bombardier is Canada’s largest spender at $2.2 billion.

Bombardier's Challenger jet manufacturing plant in Dorval, Que. PHOTO: BOMBARDIER INC.

Bombardier’s Challenger jet manufacturing plant in Dorval, Que. PHOTO: BOMBARDIER INC.

TORONTO – Canada’s leading firms raised their combined research spending to $12.5 billion in 2013, an increase of 4.1% over 2012, according to the annual Canada’s Top 100 Corporate R&D Spenders list by Research Infosource Inc.

In total, R&D spending increased at 57 companies, fell at 41, and was flat at 2 others.

“The 2013 result is respectable,” said Ron Freedman, CEO of Research Infosource. “But, research spending growth lagged last year’s 12.6% improvement even though corporate revenues were up by 7%”.

The top spender this year is Bombardier Inc., which holds on to its first-place ranking with $2.2 billion of research spending – an increase of 15.4% from the previous year.

BlackBerry Ltd. held on to 2nd place even though its R&D spending dropped by -12.2% to $1.3 billion.

Magna International jumped 3 places in the ranking to third overall with a 12% spending increase to $576.8 million. Several firms displayed especially strong growth in their R&D spending in with triple-digit year-on-year increases, including: Redknee Solutions Inc. (278.0%), TransCanada Corporation (203.9%), CGI Group Inc. (164.1%) and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (104.3%).

Ontario was home to 43.7% of all Top 100 research spending, compared with 39.9% in Quebec, 11.3% on the Prairies, and 5.1% in BC. Spending declined in Ontario (-2.7%), but increased in Quebec (12.4%), BC (11.2%), and the Prairies (2.7%).

Research Infosource included 28 firms in its $100 Million Club, an elite group that spent over $100 million on research in Fiscal 2013. New to the Club are CGI Group Inc. ($252.1 million), Valeant Pharmaceuticals International ($161.5 million) and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates ($116.6 million).

“Corporate R&D performance continues to lag policymakers’ expectations. Next year’s performance will be conditioned by broader economic prospects, in particular: the value of the loonie and the pace of world economic growth. In the medium term, spending needs to be reflected in new products and improved productivity,” added Freeman.

Click here to download the Top 100 list.

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