New data on R&D

Statistics Canada is out with its latest data on R&D spending in the higher education sector. By now it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that New Brunswick is dead last in spending in this area – by a fairly wide margin. On a per capita basis, there was $180/per capita spent on R&D in higher education (from all sources) in New Brunswick (2006/2007). The next to last in Canada was Saskatchewan at $216/per capita (or about 20% higher than New Brunswick).

To get to the same level as Ontario, New Brunswick would have to see another $104 million per year spend on R&D – just in the higher education sector.

Click on the graphic below to see more.

The problem is that we have been at the bottom for years and every government says they are going to do something about it and none really do. R&D is in many ways the lifeblood of successful economies (check that, those economies that are built primarily on brain power and not oil or other natural resources).

It’s not easy to see where much of the problem lies. Private industry spends over four times as much on R&D in higher education in Ontario than it does in New Brunswick. And it is no surprise that (despite Andy Scott’s numerous protestations over the years) the Feds spend the least on R&D in New Brunswick of any province in Canada (in the higher education sector).

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0 Responses to New data on R&D

  1. Anonymous says:

    Important post David. While the data is depressing, if not embarrassing, it speaks volumes about our economy.

    Cutting down trees, digging up the ground and fishing out our seas then shipping the stuff out of province is no longer the foundation of a healthy economy. Too bad it took 30 years before we started to recognize it.

    Our challenge is that rather than copy other provinces and try to close 30 or 40 year gaps, we need to find a niche were we can be a leader, rather than a follower. For example, for sure the fact we do not have a medical school or vet school influences R&D spend. But rather than copy other provinces that are well established, let's be a leader and find a niche where we can excel.