Lab Canada

Canadian corporate R&D spend reaches $12.5B in 2013

Toronto, ON – Canada’s leading firms raised their combined research spending to $12.5 billion in Fiscal 2013, an increase of 4.1% over the previous year, according to the annual Canada’s Top 100 Corporate R&D Spenders list released today by Research Infosource Inc.  In total, R&D spending increased at 57 companies, fell at 41, and was flat at 2 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% improvement even though corporate revenues were up by 7.0%”.

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 Limited 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 12.0% 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%), TransCanada Corporation (203.9%), CGI Group Inc. (164.1%) and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (104.3%).

Although the leading spending sector was Aerospace with 23.0% 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% of the Top 100 total. 

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 British Columbia.  Spending declined in Ontario (-2.7%), but increased in Quebec (12.4%), British Columbia (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,” said Freedman. “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, corporate R&D spending needs to be reflected in new products and improved productivity.”

The complete list is available at