In the 21st century, national prosperity, competitiveness, and well-being are inextricably linked to a country’s capacity for R&D and innovation. Canada is competing intensely alongside other countries to foster the next wave of research advances and innovations.
Ensuring that Canada remains competitive in this evolving landscape requires effective support informed by periodic assessments of the latest evidence on R&D performance. As such, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada asked the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) to provide an evidence-informed and authoritative assessment on the current state of science and technology, and industrial R&D in Canada. This is the fourth edition in the state of S&T and industrial R&D assessment series by the CCA.
To address the charge, the CCA assembled a multidisciplinary, multisectoral panel of 13 experts with a range of expertise, experience, and demonstrated leadership in academic research, R&D, innovation, and research administration.
Request a Briefing or Ask a QuestionSend a Request
Competing in a Global Innovation Economy: The Current State of R&D in Canada, assesses the latest evidence on Canada’s R&D performance, combining up-to-date data with expert insights and analyses, benchmarking against the performance of other countries.
The Panel examined the foundations of innovation, including Canada’s recent track record in fundamental research, applied research and development, business-led R&D, and the relationship of these research efforts to wealth creation and prosperity through innovation.
Evidence from multiple sources was used to address the Panel’s charge, including a literature review and data extracted from statistical agencies and organizations such as Statistics Canada and the OECD. A comprehensive bibliometric and technometric analysis of Canadian research publications and patents, and a survey of top-cited researchers around the world, also informed the Panel’s assessment.
Reflecting on all the evidence available, the Panel came to seven conclusions about the current state of R&D in Canada:
Canada remains a leading global contributor to research, and is making important contributions across a wide range of fields.
Each card highlights the following indicators (with a comparison of the 2003-2008 and 2009-2014 time periods):
Each card highlights the following:
President, Dr. Luis Barreto & Associates and Strategic Advisor, NEOMED-LABS (Concord, ON)
Professor and Canada Research Chair in Creation, Development and Commercialization of Innovation, Department of Mathematical and Industrial Engineering, Polytechnique Montréal (Montréal, QC)
Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Chemistry, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)
Professor, Inorganic Chemistry and Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Queen’s University; Technical Director, GreenCentre Canada (Kingston, ON)
Corporate Director and Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (Magog, QC)
Associate Professor, Geomatics Engineering, University of Calgary; Director, GeoSensorWeb Laboratory; CEO, SensorUp Inc. (Calgary, AB)
Vice-President, Research and Innovation; Associate Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies, OCAD University (Toronto, ON)
Dean of Arts and Professor, Department of History, University of Waterloo (Waterloo, ON)
Vice Provost, Planning and Positioning; Associate Professor, Department of Art History, Concordia University (Montréal, QC)