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Canadian university research income exceeds $5.5B in 2006


Toronto, ON – In fiscal 2006, Canada’s top 50 research universities reported $5.53 billion in sponsored research income, according to Research Infosource’s annual Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities List. This represents a healthy 6.4% increase over fiscal 2005, doubling last year’s growth of 3.2%.

Sponsored research income includes both government and non-government sources. The lion’s share of sponsored research income at Canadian universities continued to come from government sources, accounting for 69% in 2006. Corporate sources made up 13%, while non-corporate sources (individuals, foundations, etc) contributed 14% of the total. Investments/endowments and other income made up the remainder.

The University of Toronto remained in top position on Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities List 2007, reporting $763.5 million in sponsored research income for fiscal 2006, increasing 7.7% over fiscal 2005. Increasing their research income by 4.2% over last year, Universite de Montreal maintained 2nd spot again this year, with $447.2 million. University of British Columbia was No 3, moving up 2 spots from last year with $422 million, an increase of 17.4%. McGill University came in 4th, down from 3rd last year with $397.1 million of research income, with a decrease in income of -6.1% over 2005. University of Alberta’s research income also declined this year by -3.5% moving them down 1 spot to 5th place with $382.8 million. McMaster University had a -3.9% decline in sponsored research income but maintained their 6th place ranking with $331.6 million. University of Calgary also posted a negative growth this year of -3.4%, maintaining their position at 7th with $262.2 million. Universite Laval picked up a spot moving from 9th last year to 8th with $258.9 million and a year over year growth of 12.1%. University of Ottawa dropped a spot to 9th from 8th with $244 million and University of Western Ontario rounded off the top 10 research universities with $225.9 million and a substantial increase of 25.6%.

“All in all this was a solid year for research income growth across the country. University research is humming along,” says Ron Freedman, CEO of Research Infosource.

Ranking universities by sponsored research income growth for fiscal 2006, the top 5 gainers (universities that increased their sponsored research income the most) included Laurentian University (133.0%), Ecole de technologie superieure (106.1%), University of Northern British Columbia (90.2%), Trent University (80.8%) and Saint Mary’s University (43.6%). The 5 largest declines were at Wilfrid Laurier University (-10.4%), Lakehead University (-9.2%), University of Regina (-8.4%), Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres (-6.8%) and McGill University (-6.1%).

Research intensity (sponsored research income per full-time faculty) increased by 3.9% in fiscal 2006, reaching an average of $155,600 per faculty position. Seven full-service institutions posted intensity levels in excess of $200,000 per faculty, up from 6 universities last year: University of Toronto ($323,400), McMaster University ($290,900), McGill University ($259,100), University of Alberta ($252,200), University of Ottawa ($239,200), Universite de Montreal ($237,000) and Queen’s University ($219,300).

For the regional picture, in fiscal 2006, BC’s four universities took in $606.9 million in sponsored research income, an increase of 21.7% over 2005 for 11% of the overall total. Alberta’s three institutions took in $658.9 million, down -3.3% over last year for 12% of the total. Saskatchewan’s 2 universities posted a decline of -4.2% in sponsored research income with $129.8 million for 2% of the total. Manitoba, also with two institutions, declined by -4.6% in sponsored research income in 2006 with $144.2 million, 3% of the total. Ontario’s 17 universities took in $2.3 billion, an increase of 8.9%, representing 42% of the total. Quebec’s 12 universities increased their income this year by 2.9%, receiving $1.4 billion. New Brunswick’s two institutions posted $52.7 million, up 12.5%. PEI with its one university received $12.7 million, up a substantial 30.1% this year. Nova Scotia’s 6 institutions took in $140.3 million, up 5.2% and Newfoundland, with one university posted $77.2 million in sponsored research income, an increase of 25.6%.