Goal 11

PSE R&D - Deep Dive

Through both individual initiative and expanded collaboration, and with support from government, Nova Scotia’s universities and the NSCC will have doubled research funding.

Updated:

PSE R&D data summary graphic
PSE R&D Deep Dive

In addition to the Canadian Association of University Business Offices (CAUBO) data, Statistics Canada data on research and development (R&D) performed by the higher education sector provides insight on the funding sources underlying the trends.

YearTotal sciencesNatural sciences and engineeringSocial sciences and humanities
2000199.9148.151.9
2001208.5159.648.9
2002225.5174.251.2
2003259.1201.158
2004266202.363.7
2005297.4225.971.5
2006316.5245.970.6
2007326.6249.677
2008342.5261.680.9
2009343.4258.385.1
2010369.3286.483
2011368.3284.783.6
2012406.4291.4115
2013388.3286.2102.1
2014411302.1108.9

Statistics Canada data, which draws on broader funding sources than CAUBO data, and includes R&D performed by the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) in addition to universities, shows $411 million worth of R&D was carried about by Nova Scotia’s higher education sector in 2014/2015. This represents a slight increase of 1.1 per cent compared to 2012/2013, following a dip in 2013/2014. Of that funding, $302 million (74 per cent of the total) went to R&D in natural sciences and engineering, with the remaining $109 million going to social sciences and humanities research. The value of research has been relatively flat in both categories over in the latest two years.

Funding comes from five major sources: 1.) the federal, 2.) provincial government, 3.) private businesses, 4.) private non-profits, and 5.) the higher education sector itself. The higher education sector funds over half of its own R&D activity, spending $236 million in 2014/2015. This is followed by the federal government with $109 million in funding. In addition to being the largest funders, these two sectors have been the steadiest sources of spending growth over the past decade, though federal spending has flattened in more recent years.
 

YearFederal governmentProvincial governmentBusiness enterpriseHigher educationPrivate non-profit
200039.97.819.8120.210.5
2001495.219.5118.715.2
2002526.920.9126.717.5
2003606.821.5146.423.5
2004737.922.7140.721.6
200580.3630.8158.122.3
200682.35.335.3170.922
200781.46.939.3170.128.8
200893.58.137.1178.824.5
200995.18.332.6184.921.8
2010104.910.140189.923.7
2011101.911.844.5192.616.8
2012108.612.843.6227.712.6
201398.712.328.7225.123.3
2014109.211.436.5235.817.2


Most higher education R&D activity is funded by the provincial government, private business, and non-profits is in natural sciences and engineering. Together, these two groups funded $61 million worth of R&D in those categories, compared to $4.4 million in the social sciences and humanities.

YearFederal governmentProvincial governmentBusiness enterpriseHigher educationPrivate non-profit
200032.46.219.67810.2
2001424.119.378.614.6
200244.25.520.785.616.9
200349.75.421.2101.222.7
200459.96.322.393.120.7
200564.44.830.3105.321.1
200668.24.234.811720.9
200765.45.638.5113.826.4
200874.46.536.7120.423.2
200976.36.731.7122.320.7
201086.38.139.1129.822.4
201184.49.543.6131.215.5
20128610.242.4140.211.4
201385.39.927.914121.9
201489.19.135.7151.315.9

YearFederal governmentProvincial governmentBusiness enterpriseHigher educationPrivate non-profitOther
20007.51.60.242.20.42.2
2001710.240.10.51.7
20027.81.40.341.10.62.3
200310.31.40.245.20.82.4
200413.11.60.547.613.1
200515.91.20.552.81.22.9
200614.11.10.453.91.12.6
2007161.40.856.32.54.7
200819.11.60.458.41.33.3
200918.81.70.962.61.13.7
201018.720.960.11.34.2
201117.52.40.961.41.44.7
201222.62.61.287.51.25
201313.42.50.884.11.44.7
201420.12.30.884.51.34.4

On a per capita basis, Nova Scotia’s higher education sector performs a higher value of R&D than the national average at $436 per person. That is due to above average per capita funding provided by the higher education sector itself, as well as the federal government and private business enterprises. The provincial government and private non-profits spend less per capita on education R&D activity than the national average.

DollarsCanadaNova Scotia
Total funding sectors362436
Federal government84116
Provincial government3212
Business enterprise2839
Higher education179250
Private non-profit3518

Changes to the indicator, baseline, or target:

  • No changes were made to the indicator, baseline, or target.
  • Contextual numbers were removed from the statement of the goal. The target was assumed to be the doubling of research funding, not the $360 million quoted for context in the Report of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy. This was done to keep the goal consistent in case of future historical revisions to the source data.