TORONTO—Canadian firms raised their combined research spending to $12.5 billion in Fiscal 2013, an increase of 4.1 per cent over the previous year, 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 two others.
“The Fiscal 2013 result is respectable,” said Ron Freedman, CEO of Research Infosource. “But, Fiscal 2013 research spending growth lagged last year’s 12.6 per cent improvement even though corporate revenues were up by seven per cent”.
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 second place, even though its R&D spending dropped by 12.2 per cent to $1.3 billion.
Magna International jumped three places in the ranking to third overall with a 12 per cent spending increase to $576.8 million.
Several firms displayed especially strong growth in their R&D spending in Fiscal 2013, with triple-digit year-on-year increases: Redknee Solutions Inc. (278.0 per cent), TransCanada Corporation (203.9 per cent), CGI Group Inc. (164.1 per cent) and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (104.3 per cent).
Although the leading spending sector was Aerospace with 23 per cent of the Top 100 total, aggregating the R&D spending of various Information and Communications Technology-related sub-sectors put the ICT industry in the lead in research investment with 40.3 per cent of the Top 100 total.
Ontario was home to 43.7 per cent of all Top 100 research spending, compared with 39.9 per cent in Quebec, 11.3 per cent on the Prairies, and 5.1 per cent in British Columbia. Spending declined in Ontario (-2.7 per cent), but increased in Quebec (12.4 per cent), British Columbia (11.2 per cent), and the Prairies (2.7 per cent).
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,” says Freedman. “In the medium term, corporate R&D spending needs to be reflected in new products and improved productivity.”