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Bombardier is Canada’s largest research spender at $2.2-billion


Canada’s leading firms raised their combined research spending by 4.1% to $12.5-billion in Fiscal 2013, with Bombardier Inc. being the top spender this 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,” says 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%”.

Bombardier 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% to $1.3 billion. Magna International jumped three 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 Corp. (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,” Freedman says. “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.”