Latest R&D spending data released

And the hits keep on comin’.

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

Ok, the good news. Total R&D spending in New Brunswick has increased by $57 million from 1999 to 2004.

Now the bad news. R&D spending has gone up everywhere else as well.

So, in comparative terms:

In 1999, we were tied for last place for R&D spending as a percentage of GDP and in 2004, we are tied for second last place – we have passed Newfoundland but that is only because GDP growth in NL has been fastest in Canada.

The Feds still spend the least amount per capita on R&D in New Brunswick.

The provincial government spent directly on R&D a whopping $11 million in 2004 – slightly less than Nova Scotia’s $21 million (actually almost half).

And finally, to knock our friends in Ottawa a bit. the National Capital Region is about the same population as New Brunswick.

In 2004, the feds spent $960 million in R&D in the NCR compared to $84 million in New Brunswick.

The Feds spent $6.7 billion on R&D in 2004 – about 1.3% in New Brunswick.

And just to put a point on my comment that NB should be leveraging its R&D investments to attract private sector R&D, in 2004, the private sector spent over $27 billion on R&D in Canada – 0.57% in New Brunswick. Not even 1% of all the private sector R&D is done in New Brunswick. Remember, this province is almost 2.5% of the national population. So even if we were to recieve a per capita amount similar to the national average that would mean an additional $500 million R&D.

Just think about what could be done in New Brunswick with $500 million in new private sector R&D expenditures.

And that would get us just up to the national average.

And for the last month we have been bombarded with promises for senior care, tax cuts and health.

Not one mention of R&D in the Tory platform.

Sheesh.

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