The Canadian government is expected to spend less money on science and technology in 2014-15 compared to the previous fiscal year, continuing a trend that began in 2011-12.
According to Statistics Canada, federal departments and agencies are projected to record $10.3 billion (all figures in current dollars) in science and tech expenditures in 2014-15, a decrease of 5.4 percent from 2013-14.
Federal science and tech spending peaked at $12 billion in 2010-11 and has declined every year since then.
Statistics Canada reports today (May 28): "Science and technology spending is composed of two components—research and development as well as related scientific activities. In 2014/2015, more than 63% (or $6.5 billion) of the anticipated federal spending will be dedicated to research and development activities, with the remaining $3.8 billion directed to related scientific activities. Research and development is defined as creative work with an appreciable element of novelty and uncertainty undertaken in a systematic manner to increase the stock of scientific and technical knowledge. Related scientific activities are focused on the generation, dissemination and application of scientific and technical knowledge."
In 2014-15, $5.2 billion, or 50.7 percent, of science and tech expenditures is expected to be for outside work, with the remainder in-house.
"More than three-quarters of federal science and technology expenditures, or $7.9 billion, are expected to be directed to natural sciences and engineering, with the remaining $2.4 billion on social sciences and humanities," Statistics Canada states in The Daily.
"Federal departments and agencies reported that they anticipate 35,189 full-time equivalent positions to be engaged in science and technology activities in 2014/2015, down 2.8% from 2013/2014. Over half of these positions, or 19,109 full-time equivalent positions, are expected to be in the scientific and professional class."
Among major departments and agencies, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada claims the largest share of expenditures, with an expected $1.1 billion in 2014-15.