Recovery in RD spending

Following two years of decline, signs are that corporate spending on research and development began to recover in Fiscal 2004, according to Research Infosource Inc., which recently released its Canada’s Top 100 Corporate R&D Spenders List 2005.

Canada’s top corporate R&D companies invested $11.3 billion in R&D activities in Fiscal 2004, an increase of 3.0% over Fiscal 2003, according to a press release announcing the Top 100 Spenders. This rebound comes after a two-year downturn in R&D spending. In Fiscal 2004, 62 of the Top 100 companies increased their R&D expenditures. In Fiscal 2003, less than half (45 firms) increased their R&D investment.

Ontario-based firms maintained their hold on five of the top ten spots on the list, headed by Nortel Networks Corporation, which remains the top corporate R&D spender again with $2.5 billion in Fiscal 2004. Their spending continued to decline (-7.2%), however this is an improvement over their 20.4% decrease last year. Their revenue also decreased in 2004 by 10.5% to $12.8 billion.

Regionally, the 43 companies headquartered in Ontario that made the list accounted for just over half (55%) of all R&D spending, with $6.2 billion. This represented a very slight decrease from 2003 (-0.3%). Quebec’s 31 companies on the list spent $3.86 billion in Fiscal 2004, up 5.2% over 2003. This represented 34% of total R&D expenditures. The 14 British Columbia-based firms on the list invested $794 million, an increase of 6.1% and which represented 7% of the total. The nine Alberta firms accounted for $389.6 million or 3% of Top 100 spending and posted the largest regional increase of 33.1% over 2003. Removing Nortel Networks from the Ontario calculations, 42 companies invested $3.6 billion, 42% of the total, an increase of 5.1%.

The complete Canada’s Top 100 Corporate R&D Spenders List 2005 is available on the Research Infosource website,